SINGAPORE, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Scientists from Singapore, China and the United States have identified three new susceptibility genes of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), a cancer originating in the nasopharynx, the uppermost region of the "throat".
The study, led by the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), a biomedical research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and the Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, the largest specialized cancer center in southern China, identified genetic risk factors of NPC that influenced the susceptibility to this cancer, an A*STAR statement said on Monday.
NPC is a type of cancer that forms in the epithelial lining of the nasopharynx, the area of the upper throat that lies behind the nose.
It is particularly prevalent in southern China, such as Guangdong, with an occurrence rate of about 25 times higher than that in most regions of the world. It is therefore referred to as the Cantonese Cancer.
To search for the genetic risk factors for NPC, the scientists carried out a comprehensive genetic analysis of the human genome in a large clinical sample of southern Chinese descent - approximately 5,000 patients and 5,000 controls.
The finding provides an important opportunity for biologists to understand the molecular mechanism underlying the development of this cancer, and its unusual pattern of high prevalence in southern China.