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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 905252, 10 pages
Research Article

Cytogenetic Abnormality in Exfoliated Cells of Buccal Mucosa in Head and Neck Cancer Patients in the Tunisian Population: Impact of Different Exposure Sources

1Unit of Marine and Environmental Toxicology, UR 09-03, Sfax University, IPEIS, BP 1172, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia
2Unit of Bioinformatics and Human Genetics, Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax, BP 1177, 3018 Sfax, Tunisia
3Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Habib Bourguiba Hospital, 3000 Sfax, Tunisia

Received 6 April 2013; Accepted 11 June 2013

Academic Editor: Manoor Prakash Hande

Copyright © 2013 Rim Khlifi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chromosome/DNA instability could be one of the primary causes of malignant cell transformation. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the spontaneous genetic damages in exfoliated cells of buccal mucosa of head and neck cancer (HNC) by counting micronucleus (MN) and binucleated (BN) cells frequencies. MN and BN frequencies were significantly increased in HNC patients compared with controls (5.53 ± 3.09/1000 cells, 5.63 ± 2.99/1000 cells versus 2.36 ± 2.11/1000 cells, 3.09 ± 1.82/1000 cells, ). Regarding the gender and the age, the frequencies of the MN and BN were significantly higher than those of controls ( ). The evaluation of the MN and BN frequencies revealed a significant increase ( ) in the cases in relation to the control group after controlling the risk factors (tobacco smoking and chewing and occupational exposure) of HNC. Moreover, MN and BN frequencies were significantly increased in smokers and chewers compared with nonsmokers and nonchewers among patients ( ). MN frequency was significantly ( ) different between patients occupationally exposed (6.99 ± 3.40/1000 cells) and nonexposed (4.70 ± 2.48/1000 cells) among HNC group. The logistic regression model illustrated that HNC was significantly associated with frequencies of MN (OR = 8.63, ) and BN (OR = 5.62, ). Our results suggest that increased chromosome/DNA instabilities may be associated with HNC.