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J Invest Dermatol. 2012 May;132(5):1354-62. doi: 10.1038/jid.2012.4. Epub 2012 Feb 16.

A community-based study of nucleotide excision repair polymorphisms in relation to the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA.


Nucleotide excision repair (NER) is responsible for protecting DNA in skin cells against UVR-induced damage. Using a candidate pathway approach, a matched case-control study nested within a prospective, community-based cohort was carried out to test the hypothesis that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in NER genes are associated with susceptibility to non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Histologically confirmed cases of NMSC (n=900) were matched to controls (n=900) on the basis of age, gender, and skin type. Associations were measured between NMSC and 221 SNPs in 26 NER genes. Using the additive model, two tightly linked functional SNPs in ERCC6 were significantly associated with increased risk of NMSC: rs2228527 (odds ratio (OR) 1.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20-2.05) and rs2228529 (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.20-2.05). These associations were confined to basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin (rs2228529, OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.30-2.44; rs2228527, OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.31-2.43). These hypothesis-generating findings suggest that functional variants in ERCC6 may be associated with an increased risk of NMSC that may be specific to BCC.

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