Role of cytochrome P-450 genetic polymorphisms in oral carcinogenesis
J Oral Pathol Med (2012) 41: 1–8 Oral cancer is one of the most frequent head and neck cancers, and epidemiological studies have shown that smoking is a major risk factor in this pathology. However, as not all smokers develop oral cancer, some individuals must be more susceptible to develop this disease. This individual susceptibility has been related to different genetic variants in metabolizing enzymes. The cytochrome P-450 (CYP) family of enzymes metabolizes tobacco-related carcinogens producing reactive metabolites, which could cause DNA damage. Because of their functional role in the metabolism of tobacco-related compounds, the genetic polymorphisms found in the genes that code for CYP enzymes have been suggested to modulate oral cancer risk and contribute to individual susceptibility. In this review, we analyze and update the available evidence in the literature regarding the polymorphisms of CYP genes in relation to the susceptibility of developing oral cancer.