A case-control study investigating the role of sulfotransferase 1A1 polymorphism in head and neck cancer

Stefania Boccia, Gabriella Cadoni, Giuseppe La Torre, Dario Arzani, Mariangela Volante, Caterina Cattel, Francesco Gianfagna, Gaetano Paludetti, Giovanni Almadori, Gualtiero Ricciardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Sulfotransferases (SULT) 1A1 detoxifie and bioactivate a broad spectrum of substrates including xenobiotics. The SULT1A1 gene possesses a G → A polymorphism that results in an Arg to His substitution at codon 213, with the His allele having a low activity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether SULT1A1 Arg213His polymorphisms are risk factors for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCCHN). Methods: A total of 124 consecutive primary SCCHN patients and 249 age- and sex-matched hospital controls were enrolled in this study. Genomic DNA was isolated from peripheral blood lymphocytes and genotyping was performed by PCR-RFLP. A comprehensive epidemiological interview was conducted on all participants to collect their lifestyle data. Results: The His/His frequencies in cases and controls were 6.5% (8/123) and 3.6% (9/247), respectively (P = 0.049). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed a significant association of SCCHN and His/His genotype (OR = 3.60; 95% CI = 1.01-12.88). This association was stronger amongst older people, alcohol and low fruit consumers. The resulted SULT1A1 His/His genotype also associated with a higher risk of neck node positive status (OR = 5.82; 95% CI = 1.10-30.68). Conclusions: These preliminary findings show for the first time that the SULT1A1 His213 allele is a possible risk factor for head and neck cancer development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-472
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Genetic polymorphism
  • Head and neck cancer
  • SULT1A1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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