ScienceDaily (May 31, 2010) — Scientists from Singapore, China and USA have identified three new susceptibility genes in a genome-wide association study of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The study, led by the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), a biomedical research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and the Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Centre, identified genetic risk factors of NPC that advance the understanding of the important role played by host genetic variation in influencing the susceptibility to this cancer.
NPC is a type of cancer that forms in the epithelial lining(上皮內膜) of the nasopharynx(鼻咽), the area of the upper throat that lies behind the nose. It is particularly prevalent in southern China, such as Guangdong, with an occurrence rate of about 25 times higher than that in most regions of the world. NPC is therefore referred to as the Cantonese Cancer.
To search for the genetic risk factors for NPC, the scientists carried out a comprehensive genetic analysis of the human genome in a large clinical sample of southern Chinese descent -- approximately 5,000 patients and 5,000 controls. The researchers found that the genetic variation within the human leukocyte antigen (HLA，人類白細胞抗原) and the three genes known as TNFRSF19, MDSIEVI1 and CDKN2A/2B can significantly influence a person's risk of developing NPC. The researchers also noticed that these three susceptibility genes for NPC have been reported to be involved in the development of leukemia (白血病), suggesting there might be some shared biological mechanism between the developments of these two diseases. This finding provides an important opportunity for biologists to understand the molecular mechanism underlying the development of this cancer, and its unusual pattern of high prevalence in southern China.
nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC)鼻咽癌
Jin-Xin Bei, Yi Li, Wei-Hua Jia, Bing-Jian Feng, Gangqiao Zhou, Li-Zhen Chen, Qi-Sheng Feng, Hui-Qi Low, Hongxing Zhang, Fuchu He, E Shyong Tai, Tiebang Kang, Edison T Liu, Jianjun Liu, Yi-Xin Zeng. A genome-wide association study of nasopharyngeal carcinoma identifies three new susceptibility loci. Nature Genetics, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/ng.601