Cancer. 2017 Jul 15;123(14):2716-2725. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30643. Epub 2017 Feb 27.

Quantification of familial risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in a high-incidence area.

Liu Z, Chang ET, Liu Q, Cai Y, Zhang Z, Chen G, Huang QH, Xie SH, Cao SM, Shao JY, Jia WH, Zheng Y, Liao J, Chen Y, Lin L, Liang L, Ernberg I, Vaughan TL, Adami HO, Huang G, Zeng Y, Zeng YX, Ye W


BACKGROUND:  To the authors’ knowledge, no studies to date have explored familial risks of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in detail and quantified its lifetime risk in high-incidence populations.

METHODS:  The authors conducted a population-based case-control study of 2499 NPC cases and 2576 controls randomly selected in southern China from 2010 through 2014. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) associated with a family history of NPC. In addition, the authors compiled a reconstructed cohort comprising 40,781 first-degree relatives of cases and controls to calculate the lifetime cumulative risk of NPC.

RESULTS:  Individuals with a first-degree family history of NPC were found to be at a >4-fold risk of NPC (OR, 4.6; 95% CI, 3.5-6.1) compared with those without such a history, but had no excess risk of other malignancies. The excess risk was higher for a maternal than a paternal history and was slightly stronger for a sibling compared with a parental history, and for a sororal than a fraternal history. Among relatives of cases, the cumulative risk of NPC up to age 74 years was 3.7% (95% CI, 3.3%-4.2%), whereas that among relatives of controls was 0.9% (95% CI, 0.7%-1.2%). Cumulative risk was higher in siblings than in parents among relatives of cases, whereas no such difference was noted among relatives of controls.

CONCLUSIONS:  Individuals with a family history of NPC have a substantially higher risk of NPC. These relative and cumulative risk estimates can guide the development of strategies for early detection and clinical consultation in populations with a high incidence of NPC. Cancer 2017;123:2716-25. © 2017 American Cancer Society.