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Clinical relevance of breast cancer-related genes as potential biomarkers for oral squamous cell carcinoma

Journal article
Authors Toshima Z Parris
Luaay Aziz
Anikó Kovács
Shahin Hajizadeh
Szilard Nemes
May Semaan
Chang Yan Chen
Per Karlsson
Khalil Helou
Published in BMC Cancer
Volume 14
Pages artikel nr 324
ISSN 1471-2407
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Oncology
Sahlgrenska Cancer Center
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Pages artikel nr 324
Language en
Keywords Oral squamous cell carcinoma; Outcome prediction; Molecular biomarker; Immunohistochemistry; Model validation
Subject categories Genetics, Cancer and Oncology


Background: Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity (OSCC) is a common cancer form with relatively low 5-year survival rates, due partially to late detection and lack of complementary molecular markers as targets for treatment. Molecular profiling of head and neck cancer has revealed biological similarities with basal-like breast and lung carcinoma. Recently, we showed that 16 genes were consistently altered in invasive breast tumors displaying varying degrees of aggressiveness. Methods: To extend our findings from breast cancer to another cancer type with similar characteristics, we performed an integrative analysis of transcriptomic and proteomic data to evaluate the prognostic significance of the 16 putative breast cancer-related biomarkers in OSCC using independent microarray datasets and immunohistochemistry. Predictive models for disease-specific (DSS) and/or overall survival (OS) were calculated for each marker using Cox proportional hazards models. Results: We found that CBX2, SCUBE2, and STK32B protein expression were associated with important clinicopathological features for OSCC (peritumoral inflammatory infiltration, metastatic spread to the cervical lymph nodes, and tumor size). Consequently, SCUBE2 and STK32B are involved in the hedgehog signaling pathway which plays a pivotal role in metastasis and angiogenesis in cancer. In addition, CNTNAP2 and S100A8 protein expression were correlated with DSS and OS, respectively. Conclusions: Taken together, these candidates and the hedgehog signaling pathway may be putative targets for drug development and clinical management of OSCC patients.

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