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Linkage of a nasopharyngeal carcinoma susceptibility locus to the HLA regions


THE frequency of nasopharyngeal carcinoma is nearly 100-fold higher in southern Chinese than in most European populations1. Earlier studies have suggested that an increased risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma is associated with specific haplotypes in the HLA region: relative risks slightly over twofold were found for haplotypes A2, Bw46 and the antigen BIT (refs 2–4). We now report a linkage study based on affected sib pairs which suggests that a gene closely linked to the HLA locus confers a greatly increased risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The maximum likelihood estimate is of a relative risk of approximately 21. The relationship between this suspected disease susceptibility gene (or genes) and known viral and environmental aetiological factors remains to be elucidated.

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Lu, Sj., Day, N., Degos, L. et al. Linkage of a nasopharyngeal carcinoma susceptibility locus to the HLA regions. Nature 346, 470–471 (1990).

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