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Cancer Res. 2010 Sep 15;70(18):7199-208. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-4733. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

Human papillomavirus seropositivity synergizes with MDM2 variants to increase the risk of oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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Departments of Head and Neck Surgery and Epidemiology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The increasing incidence of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) in young adults has been associated with sexually transmitted infections of human papillomavirus (HPV), particularly HPV16. Given the roles of p53 in tumor suppression and of HPV E6 and MDM2 oncoproteins in p53 degradation, we evaluated HPV16 L1 seropositivity and MDM2 promoter variants to examine their possible associations with OSCC risk in a case-control study of 325 patients and 335 cancer-free matched controls. Compared with individuals having MDM2-rs2279744 GT or GG genotypes and HPV16 L1 seronegativity, the TT genotype and HPV16 L1 seronegativity were found to be associated with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.25 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06-2.19] for OSCC risk, and GT/GG and HPV16 L1 seropositivity were associated with an OR of 2.81 (95% CI, 1.67-4.74). For those with both the TT genotype and HPV16 L1 seropositivity, the associated OR was 5.57 (95% CI, 2.93-10.6). Similar results were observed for the MDM2-rs937283 polymorphism. Moreover, there was a borderline significant or significant interaction between the individual or combined MDM2 genotypes of the two polymorphisms and HPV16 L1 seropositivity (P(int) = 0.060 for MDM2-rs2279744, P(int) = 0.009 for MDM2-rs937283, and P(int) = 0.005 for the combined MDM2 genotypes) on risk of OSCC. Notably, that effect modification was particularly pronounced in never smokers and never drinkers, and for oropharyngeal as opposed to oral cavity cancer. Taken together, our results indicate that the risk of OSCC associated with HPV16 L1 seropositivity is modified by MDM2 promoter polymorphisms.

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