Background: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is endemic in Southern Chinese and Southeast Asian populations. Geographical and ethnic clustering of the cancer is due to genetic, environmental, and lifestyle risk factors. This case-control study aimed to identify or confirm both genetic and non-genetic risk factors for NPC in one of the endemic countries, Malaysia. Materials and
Methods: A panel of 768 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with various cancers and known non-genetic risk factors for NPC were selected and analyzed for their associations with NPC in a case-control study.
Results: Statistical analysis identified 40 SNPs associated with NPC risk in our population, including 5 documented previously by genome-wide associationstudies (GWAS) and other case-control studies; the associations of the remaining 35 SNPs with NPC were novel.In addition, consistent with previous studies, exposure to occupational hazards, overconsumption of salt-cured foods, red meat, as well as low intake of fruits and vegetables were also associated with NPC risk.
Conclusions: In short, this study confirmed and/or identified genetic, environmental and dietary risk factors associated with NPC susceptibility in a Southeast Asian population.