Salivary Secretor Status of Blood Group Antigens in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer


  • Sedighe Bakhtiari Oral Medicine Department, School of Dentistry, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Preventive Dentistry Research Center, Research Institute of Dental Sciences, School of Dentistry, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Soheila Mani Far Oral Medicine Department, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran, Iran
  • Zahra Alibakhshi Dentist, Private practice
  • Mohammad Shirkhoda Fellowship in Cancer Surgery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran, Iran
  • Fahimeh Anbari Oral Medicine Department, School of Dentistry, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Head and neck cancer, Secretor status, Blood group antigens


BACKGROUND: Head and neck cancers include malignancies of the scalp and neck skin, nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, oral cavity, salivary glands, pharynx and larynx. The term ABO secretor refers to people who secrete blood group antigens in their body fluids such as saliva, sweat, tears, semen, and serum. Non-secretors refer to those who do not secrete their blood group antigens in their body fluids. The lack of blood type antigens in body discharge increases the susceptibility to certain types of diseases and infection.

AIM: Our study aimed to investigate the relationship between the secretion of blood groups in the saliva of patients with head and neck cancers.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This case-control study was performed on 110 people (57 patients with head and neck cancer who were referred to Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran and 53 cancer-free controls). Five ml of non-stimulated saliva were collected by the spitting method. By agglutination or lack of agglutination in the test tubes, we determined the patient’s secretor or non-secretor condition.

RESULTS: In terms of secretor status, 52.7% of all samples were secretors. In the case group, 19 out of 57 cases (33.3%) were secretors, and 38 were non-secretors (66.7%). In the control group, 39 out of 53 cases (73.6%) were secretors, and 14 cases were non-secretors (26.4%). There was a significant difference in the percentage of non-secretors between the two groups (p = 0.00).

CONCLUSION: People with non-secretor status may be more prone to develop head and neck cancer. The presence of these antigens in saliva may have a protective effect.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Plum Analytics Artifact Widget Block


Siegel RL, Miller KD, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2015. CA Cancer J Clin. 2015; 65(1):5-29. PMid:25559415

Mirzaei M, Hosseini S-A, Ghoncheh M, Soheilipour F, Soltani S, Soheilipour F, et al. Epidemiology and trend of head and neck cancers in Iran. Glob J Health Sci. 2016; 8(1):189. PMid:26234980 PMCid:PMC4803954

Ragin C, Modugno F, Gollin S. The epidemiology and risk factors of head and neck cancer: a focus on human papillomavirus. J Dent Res. 2007; 86(2):104-14. PMid:17251508

Argiris A, Karamouzis MV, Raben D, Ferris RL. Head and neck cancer. The Lancet. 2008; 371(9625):1695-709.

McMahon S, Chen AY. Head and neck cancer. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2003; 22(1):21-4. PMid:12716033

Bakhtiari S, Mortazavi H, Mehdipour M, Jafarian N, Ranjbari N, Rahmani S.Frequency of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas and Related Variables in SouthernIran (Ahvaz City): 10-Year Retrospective Study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2017; 18(2):375-379. PMid:28345334 PMCid:PMC5454730

Vineis P, Alavanja M, Buffler P, Fontham E, Franceschi S, Gao Y-T, et al. Tobacco and cancer: recent epidemiological evidence. J Nati Cancer Inst. 2004; 96(2):99-106.

Boffetta P, Hashibe M. Alcohol and cancer. The lancet Oncol. 2006; 7(2):149-56.

Hobbs C, Sterne J, Bailey M, Heyderman R, Birchall M, Thomas S. Human papillomavirus and head and neck cancer: a systematic review and metaâ€analysis. Clin Otolaryngol. 2006; 31(4):259-66. PMid:16911640

Pavia M, Pileggi C, Nobile CG, Angelillo IF. Association between fruit and vegetable consumption and oral cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies. The Am J Clin Nutr. 2006; 83(5):1126-34. PMid:16685056

Suárez C, Rodrigo JP, Ferlito A, Cabanillas R, Shaha AR, Rinaldo A. Tumours of familial origin in the head and neck. Oral Oncol. 2006; 42(10):965-78. PMid:16857415

Sturgis EM, Wei Q. Genetic susceptibility–molecular epidemiology of head and neck cancer. Curr Opin Oncol. 2002; 14(3):310-7.

D'Adamo P, Kelly GS. Metabolic and immunologic consequences of ABH secretor and Lewis subtype status. Altern Med Rev. 2001; 6(4):390. PMid:11578255

Daniels, G. Human Blood Groups: Introduction, in Human Blood Groups, 3rd edition, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK, 2013.

Javaud C, Dupuy F, Maftah A, Julien R, Petit JMThefucosyltransferase gene family: an amazing summary of the underlying mechanisms of gene evolution. Genetica. 2003; 118(2-3):157-70. PMid:12868606

Linden S, Mahdavi J, Semino-Mora C, Olsen C, Carlstedt I, Boren T, et al. Role of ABO secretor status in mucosal innate immunity and H. pylori infection. PLoS pathog. 2008; 4(1):e2. PMid:18179282 PMCid:PMC2174967

Dayaprasad GK, Venkatesh D. Non-secretor status; a predisposing factor for vaginal candidiasis. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2004; 48:225-9.

Thom S, Blackwell C, MacCallum C, Weir D, Brettle R, Kinane D, et al. Non-secretion of blood group antigens and susceptibility to infection by Candida species. FEMS Microbiol Immunol. 1989; 47(6-7):401-5. PMid:2631880

Salih K, Jouda J, Al-Jaff S, El-Haboby B, Shaker E. Frequency of ABO blood groups and secretor status and their relation with dental decay in a section of students and employees of Al-Mustansiriyiah University in Iraq. World J Exp Biosci. 2015; 3:108-12.

Pradhan A, Chawla T, Samuel K, Pradhan M. The relationship between periodontal disease and blood groups and secretor status. J Periodontal Res. 1971; 6(4):294-300. PMid:4272022

Lamey PJ, Darwazeh AM, Muirhead J, et al: Chronic hyperplastic candidosis and secretor status. J Oral Pathol Med. 1991; 20:64–67.

Shin E-S, Chung S-C, Kim Y-K, Lee S-W, Kho H-S. The relationship between oral Candida carriage and the secretor status of blood group antigens in saliva. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2003; 96(1):48-53.

Cerović R, Juretić M, Balen S, Belušić M, Caser L, Rogić M. Examining the presence of ABO (H) antigens of blood types in the saliva of patients with oral cancer. Coll Antropol. 2008; 32(2):509-12. PMid:18756902

Lamey P-J, Douglas P. Secretor status and oral cancer. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1994; 32(4):214-7.

Rai P, Acharya S, Hallikeri K. Assessment of ABO blood grouping and secretor status in the saliva of the patients with oral potentially malignant disorders. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2015; 19(2):164. PMid:26604491 PMCid:PMC4611923

Hallikeri K, Udupa R, Guttal K, Naikmasur V. Analysis of salivary secretor status in patients with oral submucous fibrosis: a caseâ€control study. J Investig Clin Dent. 2015; 6(4):261-6. PMid:24850779

Jamil S, Tayyab M, Farooq M. Relationship of secretor status in patients with oral cancers. Annals of KEMU. 2016; 11(4).

Karpati K, Braunitzer G, Toldi J, et al. Caries and ABO secretor status in a Hungarian population of children and adolescents: an exploratorystudy. Caries Res. 2014; 48:179–185. PMid:24480885

Campi C, Escovich L, Valdés V, García Borrás S, Racca L, Racca A, et al. Secretor status and ABH antigens expression in patients with oral lesions. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2007; 12(6):431-4.

Bakhtiari S, Toosi P, Dolati F, Bakhshi M. Evaluation of salivary secretor status of blood group antigens in patients with oral lichen planus. Med Princ Pract. 2016; 25(3):266-9. PMid:26554378 PMCid:PMC5588363

Garrett J, Whittaker J, Nicholson A, Ridway J, Bowman C. Blood-groups and secretor status in patients with salivary-gland tumours. The Lancet. 1971; 298(7735):1177-9.

Vidas I, Temmerâ€Vuksan B. Examining the secretor status in the saliva of patients with oral preâ€cancerous lesions. J oral Rehabil. 1999; 26(2):177-82. PMid:10080317

Shahidi-Dadras M, Golfeshan A, Abdollahimajd F. Evaluation of Secretory State in Patients with Oral Lichen Planus: A Case-Control Study. Arch Iran Med. 2016; 19(1):35-8. PMid:26702746



How to Cite

Bakhtiari S, Mani Far S, Alibakhshi Z, Shirkhoda M, Anbari F. Salivary Secretor Status of Blood Group Antigens in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2019 Feb. 14 [cited 2023 Dec. 1];7(3):373-7. Available from:



B - Clinical Sciences