Background: Radiotherapy (RT) of the neck is commonly given to nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients for preventing cervical lymph node metastasis. However, neck RT may induce the development of carotid atherosclerosis. The mechanisms of radiation-induced carotid atherosclerosis are still unclear and no previous study has investigated the genetic involvement of radiation-induced carotid atherosclerosis. The present study aims to determine the association between genetic polymorphisms and carotid atherosclerosis in patients treated with RT for nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Methods: The present study recruited 128 post-RT NPC patients. Carotid plaque score was assessed using ultrasonography. Thirteen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that affect the function of anti-atherosclerotic genes, including SOD2, SOD3, CAT, PON1, PPARG, ADIPOQ, IL10, TGFB1 and NOS3, were genotyped. Association between the 13 SNPs and carotid atherosclerosis was evaluated using multiple regression after adjustment for covariates (PLINK). Multiple testing was corrected using Benjamini-Hochberg step-up false discovery rate controlling procedure. Results: rs662 and rs705379 of PON1 were close to be significantly associated with carotid plaque score (Corrected P value, Pcor= .0528 and Pcor= .0842). When the two SNPs were combined together, TC haplotype in rs662-rs705379 of PON1 was significantly associated with higher carotid plaque score (Pcor< 0.05). None of the other SNPs showed significant association with carotid plaque score. Conclusions: TC haplotype in rs662-rs705379 of PON1 is likely to be a genetic risk factor of carotid plaque score. Post-RT NPC patients with the TC haplotype may need earlier and more frequent carotid ultrasound examinations for early detection of carotid atherosclerosis.
- Carotid atherosclerosis
- Carotid plaque score
- Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
- Single nucleotide polymorphisms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging