HLA-class II haplotype associations with ovarian cancer

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The development of cancer is a multistep process that is characterized by the accumulation of genetic alterations in cells and changed cellular interactions with the surrounding healthy tissues. The human immune system is believed to be intrinsically involved in this process. The correlation of certain human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-class I and II haplotypes with tumorigenesis is documented in a variety of tumors. However, few data exist on the possible association of specific HLA-class II alleles or haplotypes with ovarian cancer. In our sample of 52 Caucasian patients with primary ovarian carcinoma and 239 female healthy local controls, we observed a significantly increased incidence of the HLA-class II haplotypes DRB1*0301 – DQA1*0501 – DQB1*0201 (p< 0.001) and DRB1*1001 – DQA1*0101 – DQB1*0501 (p< 0.001) in the patients. Our data suggest that HLA-class II loci or individual HLA-class II haplotypes may be involved in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer.

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