Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a rare disease in most parts of the world, with an age-standardised annual incidence of less than 1 per 100000. However, in Southern China, parts of Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean basin, NPC is an endemic disease with an incidence of 10-30 per 100000. Genome-wide studies have unravelled multiple chromosomal abnormalities with involvement of specific oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Alterations of genes such as Ras association domain family 1A (RASSF1A), p16/INK4A, p14/ARF suggest that multiple cellular pathways were dysregulated in the NPC cells. Studies on the precancerous lesions revealed early genetic changes and a critical role of Epstein- Barr virus (EBV) latent infection in the development of this cancer.
Dai W, Zheng H, Cheung AK, Tang CS, Ko JM, Wong BW, Leong MM, Sham PC, Cheung F, Kwong DL, Ngan RK, Ng WT, Yau CC, Pan J, Peng X, Tung S, Zhang Z, Ji M, Chiang AK, Lee AW, Lee VH, Lam KO, Au KH, Cheng HC, Yiu HH, Lung ML
Whole-exome sequencing identifies MST1R as a genetic susceptibility gene in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.