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Smoking and XPC Gene Polymorphism Interact to Modulate the Risk of Oral Cancer



Oral cancer is the most common cancer among the Indian men and the second most common cancer among the Indian women. Such high incidence of oral cancer in India is due to consumption of tobacco in different form including smoking of cigarette. Smoke of tobacco contains different carcinogens which causes DNA damage. Such DNA damage if remain unrepaired due to faulty DNA repair system can cause mutation and eventual development of cancer.


In the present study, we aimed to check the role of smoking as well as interaction of smoking and XPC polymorphism in risk modulation of oral cancer. Total of 372 subjects including 300 healthy controls and 72 patients of oral cancers been genotyped for the XPC PAT D/I, A/C and C/T polymorphisms with PCR based or PCR–RFLP based method. Genotype frequency was analyzed by chi-square test and strength of associations by odds ratio with 95% confidence intervals.


The present study showed that compared to nonsmokers, smokers are at five times higher risk to develop oral cancer (p value= 0.001, OR= 5.03, 95% CI 2.91–8.69) and three times higher risk to develop node-positive (p value= 0.01, OR= 3.66, 95% CI 1.34–9.95) oral cancer. It has also been observed that individuals who were smokers and carrier of variant allele genotypes (AC and CC) for XPC A/C polymorphism were at threefold higher risk (p value= 0.01, OR=2.97, 95% CI 1.29–6.86) to develop oral cancer compared to individual who were smokers but do not carry the C allele (AA genotype). This observation indicates that C allele of XPC A/C polymorphism interacts with smoking and significantly increases the risk of oral cancer.


This study demonstrates a possible role of smoking and gene–smoking interaction in risk enhancement of oral cancer.

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The author, Kumud Nigam, is very grateful to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, India (Project Id-3/2/2/54/2018/Online OncoFship/NCD-III), for providing the fellowship grant to conduct her Ph.D. work.

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Correspondence to Shadab Mohammad or Somali Sanyal.

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Shadab Mohammad and Somali Sanyal are sharing equal correspondence for the manuscript.

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Nigam, K., Samadi, F.M., Srivastava, S. et al. Smoking and XPC Gene Polymorphism Interact to Modulate the Risk of Oral Cancer. J. Maxillofac. Oral Surg. 20, 607–611 (2021).

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