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Nat Genet. 2008 Jun;40(6):707-9. doi: 10.1038/ng.151. Epub 2008 May 25.

Multiple ADH genes are associated with upper aerodigestive cancers.

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International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.


Alcohol is an important risk factor for upper aerodigestive cancers and is principally metabolized by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzymes. We have investigated six ADH genetic variants in over 3,800 aerodigestive cancer cases and 5,200 controls from three individual studies. Gene variants rs1229984 (ADH1B) and rs1573496 (ADH7) were significantly protective against aerodigestive cancer in each individual study and overall (P = 10(-10) and 10(-9), respectively). These effects became more apparent with increasing alcohol consumption (P for trend = 0.0002 and 0.065, respectively). Both gene effects were independent of each other, implying that multiple ADH genes may be involved in upper aerodigestive cancer etiology.

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