University of Oulu

Mroueh, R, Tanskanen, T, Haapaniemi, A, et al. Familial cancer risk in family members and spouses of patients with early‐onset head and neck cancer. Head & Neck. 2020; 1– 9.

Familial cancer risk in family members and spouses of patients with early‐onset head and neck cancer

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Author: Mroueh, Rayan1; Tanskanen, Tomas2; Haapaniemi, Aaro1;
Organizations: 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Helsinki and HUS Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
2Finnish Cancer Registry, Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer and Research, Helsinki, Finland
3Cancer and Translational Medicine Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Medical Research Unit, Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki and Haartman Institute, Helsinki, Finland
5Research Program in Systems Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
6Division of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases, Department of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
7Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
8Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-06-10


Background: Reported patterns of familial aggregation of head and neck cancer (HNC) vary greatly, with many studies hampered by the limited number of subjects.

Methods: Altogether 923 early‐onset (≤40 years old) HNC probands, their first‐degree relatives, spouses, and siblings’ offspring were ascertained. Cumulative risk and standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were estimated.

Results: Of all early‐onset HNC families, only 21 (2.3%) had familial HNC cancers at any age and less than five familial early onset HNC cancers among first‐degree relatives. The cumulative risk of HNC for siblings by age 60 (0.52%) was at population level (0.33%). No increased familial risk of early‐onset HNC could be discerned in family members (SIR 2.68, 95% CI 0.32‐9.68 for first‐degree relatives).

Conclusions: Our study indicates that the cumulative and relative familial risk of early‐onset HNC is modest in the Finnish population and, at most, only a minor proportion of early‐onset HNCs are due solely to inherited genetic mutations.

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Series: Head & neck
ISSN: 1043-3074
ISSN-E: 1097-0347
ISSN-L: 1043-3074
Volume: In press
DOI: 10.1002/hed.26282
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
Funding: Cancer Foundation Finland and Academy of Finland to the Finnish Center of Excellence in Tumor Genetics Research. Grant Number: 312044.
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors. Head & Neck published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.