Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Head and neck cancer molecular tumor subtypes documented

Date:
February 23, 2013
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
By analyzing data from DNA microarrays, scientists have completed a study that confirms the presence of four molecular classes of the disease and extends previous results by suggesting that there may be an underlying connection between the molecular classes and observed genomic events, some of which affect known cancer genes.

Gene expression heatmap illustrating four molecular subtypes in HNSCC.
Credit: Hayes Lab, UNC

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the seventh most common form of cancer in the United States, but other than an association with the human papillomavirus, no validated molecular profile of the disease has been established. By analyzing data from DNA microarrays, a UNC-led team has completed a study that confirms the presence of four molecular classes of the disease and extends previous results by suggesting that there may be an underlying connection between the molecular classes and observed genomic events, some of which affect known cancer genes. The clinical relevance of the classes and certain genomic events was demonstrated, thus paving the way for further studies and possible targeted therapies.

The study was published in the Feb. 22, 2013 issue of the PLOS ONE.

Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine and senior author, says, "Cancer is a disease caused by alteration in the DNA and RNA molecules of tumors. A cancer results when broken molecules initiate a cascade of abnormal signals that ultimately results in abnormal growth and spread of tissues that should be under tight control within the body.

"However, most common tumors, including head and neck cancer, have relatively little information in the public record as to how these signals coordinate to create different patterns of abnormalities. This study is among the largest ever published to document reproducible molecular tumor subtypes. Subtypes, such as those we describe, represent attractive models to understand and attack cancers for treatment and prognosis."

Dr. Hayes is a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and national co-chair of the Data Analysis Sub-Group for The Cancer Genome Atlas, a program of the National Institutes of Health.

The team, composed of investigators from UNC and five other institutions, analyzed a set of nearly 140 HNSCC samples. By searching for recurrent patterns known as gene expression signatures, they were able to detect four gene expression subtypes. The subtypes are termed basal, mesenchymal, atypical, and classical based on similarities to established gene expression subtypes in other tumor types and expression patterns of specific genes.

In spite of being the seventh most common form of cancer in the United States, HNSCC is relatively under-studied in comparison to other tumor types, e.g. breast and lung. By leveraging the similarities found in the gene expression subtypes, the results of this study provide a connection to a range of well-established findings and additional insight into the disease.

Other UNC authors are: Vonn Walter, PhD; Xiaoying Yin, MD; Matthew Wilkerson, PhD; Christopher Cabanski, PhD, now at Washington University at St. Louis; Ni Zhao, MS; Ying Du,PhD; Mei-Kim Ang, MD, now at the National Cancer Center in Singapore; Michele Hayward, RD; Ashley Salazar, BA; Katherine Hoadley, PhD; Mark Weissler, MD; William Shockley, MD; Adam Zanation, MD; Trevor Hackman, MD; Leigh Thorne, MD; William Funkhouser, MD; Andrew Olshan, PhD; Scott Randell, PhD; and Carol Shores, MD, PhD.

Other institutions are the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

Funding for the study was provided by a Clinical/Translational Award from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University Cancer Research Fund, and a grant from the National Institutes of Health (K12-RR-023248).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vonn Walter, Xiaoying Yin, Matthew D. Wilkerson, Christopher R. Cabanski, Ni Zhao, Ying Du, Mei Kim Ang, Michele C. Hayward, Ashley H. Salazar, Katherine A. Hoadley, Karen Fritchie, Charles G. Sailey, Mark C. Weissler, William W. Shockley, Adam M. Zanation, Trevor Hackman, Leigh B. Thorne, William D. Funkhouser, Kenneth L. Muldrew, Andrew F. Olshan, Scott H. Randell, Fred A. Wright, Carol G. Shores, D. Neil Hayes. Molecular Subtypes in Head and Neck Cancer Exhibit Distinct Patterns of Chromosomal Gain and Loss of Canonical Cancer Genes. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (2): e56823 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056823

Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Head and neck cancer molecular tumor subtypes documented." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130223111351.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2013, February 23). Head and neck cancer molecular tumor subtypes documented. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130223111351.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Head and neck cancer molecular tumor subtypes documented." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130223111351.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins