Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Biomarker Identified for Head and Neck Cancers

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 27 Aug 2014
Print article
Sequenom\'s MassARRAY Analyzer 4 mass spectrometry system
The MassARRAY Analyzer 4 mass spectrometry system (Photo courtesy of SEQUENOM)
Evidence has been found suggesting that the deleterious health effects of a mutated gene may in large part be due to other genetic abnormalities, at least in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

The high mortality rates among head and neck cancer patients tend to occur only when mutations in the tumor suppressor gene coincide with missing segments of genetic material on the cancer genome's third chromosome.

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA, USA) and their colleagues analyzed the complete genomic signatures of 250 cases of squamous cell head and neck cancer extracted from The Cancer Genome Atlas, a repository of sequenced cancer genomes for more than 20 different types of human cancers maintained by the US National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, MD, USA). All of the tumors were from patients younger than 85 years of age.

Of these, 179 had both mutations; 50 had one of the two mutations; and 22 had neither mutation. Comparisons with patient outcome data showed that half of patients with both mutations would likely die of cancer within two years, while 66 percent of patients with one or neither mutation would be expected to live five years or more. These survival statistics were independent of the patients' clinical cancer stage. To patients with these cancers, the results mean that there may be therapeutic value in testing tumors for the two genetic identifiers, known as a tumor protein 53 (TP53) mutation and a 3p deletion (short for deletions of genetic information on the short arm "p" of the third chromosome).

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is implicated in the growing epidemic of head and neck cancers in otherwise healthy adults. It is believed that the virus can coopt the activity of TP53, affecting cells in much the same way as a TP53 mutation but without causing a mutation. For this reason, the analysis examined HPV-positive and HPV-negative tumors separately. HPV status was deduced from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based MassARRAY Assay (Sequenom; San Diego, CA, USA) diagnostic provided on the data portal for cases where sequence-based data were not available. The team discovered that among human papilloma virus (HPV)-positive tumors, the most aggressive cancer cases were also highly linked to the presence of 3p deletions.

Quyen Nguyen, MD, PhD, associate professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and a senior author of the study said, “We are in the early stages of being able to personalize head and neck cancer treatments based on the tumor's actual biology, the same as what is done with breast cancers. In the past, treatments have been based largely on the size and location of the tumor. Now, we know that some large tumors may respond to less aggressive treatment while some small tumors may need intensified treatment. This will have a huge impact for patients.” The study was published on August 3, 2014, in the journal Nature Genetics.

Related Links:

University of California, San Diego 
US National Cancer Institute
Sequenom


Read the full article by registering today, it's FREE! It's Free!
Register now for FREE to LabMedica.com and get complete access to news and events that shape the world of Clinical Laboratory Medicine.
  • Free digital version edition of LabMedica International sent by email on regular basis
  • Free print version of LabMedica International magazine (available only outside USA and Canada).
  • Free and unlimited access to back issues of LabMedica International in digital format
  • Free LabMedica International Newsletter sent every 2 weeks containing the latest news
  • Free breaking news sent via email
  • Free access to Events Calendar
  • Free access to LinkXpress new product services
  • REGISTRATION IS FREE AND EASY!
Click here to Register








Channels

Genetic Tests

view channel

Patterns of MicroRNA Expression Distinguish Patients with Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis

Subsets of circulating micro RNAs (miRNAs) are uniquely expressed in asthmatic patients and in patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) and have potential for use as noninvasive biomarkers to diagnose and characterize these diseases. MicroRNAs are a class of about 20 nucleotides-long RNA fragments that block gene expression... Read more

Lab Tech.

view channel

Method Preserves Microfluidic Devices for HIV Monitoring in Developing Countries

Microfluidic devices with immunochemistry have broad applications in chemotherapy monitoring, transplant patient monitoring, and especially in monitoring the efficacy of antiretroviral therapy. Providing vital health care services to people in developing countries without reliable electricity, refrigeration and state-of-the-art... Read more

Industry News

view channel

R-Biopharm and Merck Partner on Companion Diagnostics

R-Biopharm AG (Darmstadt, Germany) and Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) have entered into an agreement that constitutes their first collaboration, which will initially focus on developing and launching companion diagnostics. Companion diagnostics play a central role in personalized medicine by helping to find specific... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.