Objectives: Interleukin-8 (IL-8), which is an angiogenic chemokine with a high expression level in tumor tissues, plays important roles in developing many human malignancies including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). This study was designed to examine the association of IL-8 gene polymorphisms with the susceptibility and clinicopathological characteristics of OSCC. Methods: A total of 270 patients with OSCC and 350 healthy control subjects were recruited. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of IL-8 genes were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) genotyping analysis. Results: Results showed that four IL-8 SNPs (-251 T/A, +781 C/T, +1633 C/T, and +2767 A/T) were not associated with oral cancer susceptibility as well as clinicopathological parameters. But among 345 smokers, IL-8 polymorphisms carriers with betel quid chewing were found to have a 17.41- to 23.14-fold risk to have oral cancer compared to IL-8 wild-type carriers without betel quid chewing. Among 262 betel quid chewers, IL-8 polymorphisms carriers with smoking have a 10.54- to 20.44-fold risk to have oral cancer compared to those who carried wild type without smoking. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the combination of IL-8 gene polymorphisms and environmental carcinogens might be highly related to the risk of oral cancer.
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