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Cancer Sci. 2007 May;98(5):740-6. Epub 2007 Mar 28.

Identification of a predictive gene expression signature of cervical lymph node metastasis in oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.


An accurate assessment of the cervical lymph node metastasis status in oral cavity cancer not only helps predict the prognosis of patients, but also helps surgeons to perform the appropriate treatment. We investigated the utilization of microarray technology focusing on the differences in gene expression profiles between primary tumors of oral squamous cell carcinoma that had metastasized to cervical lymph nodes and those that had not metastasized in the hope of finding new biomarkers to serve for diagnosis and treatment of oral cavity cancer. To design this experiment, we prepared two groups: the learning case group with 30 patients and the test case group with 13 patients. All tissue samples were performed using laser captured microdissection to yield cancer cells, and RNA was isolated from purified cancer cells. To identify a predictive gene expression signature, the different gene expressions between the two groups with and without metastasis in the learning case (n = 30) were analyzed, and the 85 genes expressed differentially were selected. Subsequently, to construct a more accurate prediction model, we further selected the genes with a high power for prediction from the 85 genes using the AdaBoost algorithm. The eight candidate genes, DCTD, IL-15, THBD, GSDML, SH3GL3, PTHLH, RP5-1022P6 and C9orf46, were selected to achieve the minimum error rate. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was carried out to validate the selected genes. From these statistical methods, the prediction model was constructed including the eight genes and this model was evaluated by using the test case group. The results in 12 of 13 cases ( approximately 92.3%) were predicted correctly.

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