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J Oncol. 2012;2012:752860. doi: 10.1155/2012/752860. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Malignant and nonmalignant gene signatures in squamous head and neck cancer.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Genetic events specific to the pathogenesis of malignancy can offer clues to the tumorigenesis process. The objective of this study was to identify gene alterations that differentiate tumor and nontumor lesions in squamous head and neck cancer (HNSCC). DNA from 220 primary HNSCC with concurrently present tumor and nontumor lesions from the same patient was interrogated for genomic alterations of loss or gain of copy. Conditional logistic regression dealt with tumor and non-tumor records within a patient. Of 113 genes, 53 had univariate effects (P < 0.01), of which 16 genes remained in the multivariable model with P < 0.01. The model had a C-index (ROC) of 0.93. Loss of CDKN2B and gain of BCL6, FGF3, and PTP4A3 predicted tumor. Loss of BAK1 and CCND1 and gain of STCH predicted nontumor. This highly powered model assigned alterations in 16 genes specific for malignant versus nonmalignant lesions, supporting their contribution to the pathogenesis of HNSCC as well as their potential utility as relevant targets for further evaluation as markers of early detection and progression.

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