Validation of genetic sequence variants as prognostic factors in early-stage head and neck squamous cell cancer survival

Abul Kalam Azad, Isabelle Bairati, Elodie Samson, Dangxiao Cheng, Maryam Mirshams, Xin Qiu, Sevtap Savas, John Waldron, Changshu Wang, David Goldstein, Wei Xu, Francois Meyer, Geoffrey Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose: From the published literature, we identified 23 germ line sequence variants in 17 genes from hypothesis-generating studies thatwere associated with prognosis of headandneck cancer, including sequence variants of DNA repair (ERCC1, ERCC4, ERCC5, MSH2, XPA, ERCC2, XRCC1, XRCC3), DNA methylation (DNMT3B), cell cycle and proliferation (CCND1, TP53), xenobiotic metabolism (GSTM1, GSTT1, CYP2D6), metastatic -potential (MMP3), immunologic (CTLA4), and growth factor pathways (FGFR4). The purpose of this study was to validate the role of these 23 sequence variants for overall (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in a large, comprehensive, well-annotated data set of patients with head and neck cancer. Experimental Design: We genotyped these sequence variants in 531 patients with stage I and II radiation-treated head and neck cancer (originally recruited for an alpha-tocopherol/beta-carotene placebo-controlled secondary prevention study), and analyzed using Cox proportional hazards models, stratified by treatment arm, adjusting for clinical prognostic factors. Results: Two OS associations were statistically significant for each variant allele when compared with the wild-type: CTLA4:A49G [rs231775; adjusted HR (aHR), 1.32 (1.1-1.6); P = 0.01] and XRCC1:Arg339Gln [rs25487; aHR, 1.28 (1.05-1.57); P = 0.02]. Both of these sequence variants had significant results in the opposite direction as prior published literature. Two DFS associations were of borderline significance in the same direction as prior literature: ERCC2:Lys751Gln [rs13181; aHR, 0.80 (0.6-1.0); P = 0.05] and TP53: Arg72Pro [rs1042522; aHR, 1.28 (1.0-1.6); P = 0.03], comparing number of variant alleles with reference of zero variants. Conclusions: None of the prognostic sequence variants previously published was validated for OS in our patients with early-stage radiation-treated head and neck cancer, though rs1381and rs1042522 had borderline significant association with DFS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-206
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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