Telomere length and TERT functional polymorphisms are not associated with risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
BACKGROUND: Recent studies reported associations of the relative telomere length (RTL) and TERT variants with risk of several cancers, which have not been comprehensively investigated in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). METHODS: We detected RTL in peripheral blood lymphocytes and genotyped six selected functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of the TERT gene in 888 SCCHN cases and 885 cancer-free controls of non-Hispanic whites. RESULTS: Overall, we did not observe significant associations between RTL and SCCHN risk (adjusted OR = 0.97; 95% CI = 0.80-1.17 for below versus above the median; P(trend) = 0.618) nor between the six TERT SNPs and SCCHN risk. We also found no associations between RTL and TERT SNPs. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that RTL and TERT functional polymorphisms may not play a major role in the etiology of SCCHN. Large prospective studies are needed to validate our findings. IMPACT: Although our results suggest no association among RTL, TERT functional polymorphisms, and SCCHN risk, this study may contribute to future meta-analysis.
Liu, Z; Ma, H; Wei, S; Li, G; Sturgis, EM; Wei, Q
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