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Gain of DNA copy number on chromosomes 3q26-qter and 5p14-pter is a frequent finding in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.

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Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) was used to study genomic imbalances in 77 squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC) and in four cell lines derived from oral carcinomas. Particular attention was paid to all tumors characterized by a gain of two specific chromosomal segments, i.e. 3q26-qter and 5p14-p15. The 57 tumors containing both or one of the two imbalances were compared with 20 tumors lacking both with regard to genomic complexity, as well as to associated genomic, histopathologic and clinical peculiarities. 60% of the oral, and 66% of the non-oral cancers exhibited a gain of 3q26-qter, while a gain of 5p14-p15 was found in 66% of the oral, but only in 48% of the non-oral tumors. 48% of all tumors were characterized by both gains together, 26% exhibited only one of the two alterations. It could be shown that presence of both, gain of 3q26-qter and 5p14-p15, was clearly associated with a significantly higher complexity of genomic changes which was not only expressed as a high frequency of DNA copy number alterations (CNAs) but was also connected with a considerable number of additional amplifications of various chromosomal segments and a high conformity of the patterns of genomic imbalances in these tumors. Clear differences of the extent and of the patterns of genomic imbalance could be observed between oral and non-oral tumors. With respect to histopathological parameters, no clear association could be found for specific imbalances to the grade of differentiation, nor the invasiveness or metastatic status of the tumors. However, a higher number of patients with tumors characterized by gain of 3q26-qter plus 5p14-p15 died within a short period (i.e. less than 15 months) after excision of the tumor compared to the group without these imbalances. The implications of these findings are discussed from the oncogenetic and clinical aspects and in comparison with other reports.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Human Genetics, University of Erlangen-Nurnberg, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany.

Publication date: August 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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