Alcohol is an important risk factor for upper aerodigestive cancers and is principally metabolized by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzymes. A research group has studied six ADH genetic variants and found that two gene variants were significantly protective against aerodigestive cancer. These effects became even more apparent with increasing alcohol consumption. Both gene effects were independent of each other, implying that multiple ADH genes may be involved in upper aerodigestive cancer etiology.
Kristina Kjærheim at the Cancer Registry of Norway is one of the authors of the study.