Purpose: Polymorphisms in DNA repair genes can influence response to radiotherapy. We analyzed single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in nine DNA repair genes in 108 patients with head-and-neck cancer (HNSCC) who had received radiotherapy only. Methods and Materials: From May 1993 to December 2004, patients with Stage I and II histopathologically confirmed HNSCC underwent radiotherapy. DNA was obtained from paraffin-embedded tissue, and SNP analysis was performed using a real-time polymerase chain reaction allelic discrimination TaqMan assay with minor modifications. Results: Patients were 101 men (93.5%) and 7 (6.5%) women, with a median age of 64 years (range, 40 to 89 years). Of the patients, 76 (70.4%) patients were Stage I and 32 (29.6%) were Stage II. The XPF/ERCC1 SNP at codon 259 and XPG/ERCC5 at codon 46 emerged as significant predictors of progression (p = 0.00005 and 0.049, respectively) and survival (p = 0.0089 and 0.0066, respectively). Similarly, when variant alleles of XPF/ERCC1, XPG/ERCC5 and XPA were examined in combination, a greater number of variant alleles was associated with shorter time to progression (p = 0.0003) and survival (p = 0.0002). Conclusions: Genetic polymorphisms in XPF/ERCC1, XPG/ERCC5, and XPA may significantly influence response to radiotherapy; large studies are warranted to confirm their role in HNSCC. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- DNA repair
- Head-and-neck cancer
- Single-nucleotide polymorphism