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Head Neck. 1998 Aug;20(5):404-10.

Loss of heterozygosity on chromosome 2q: possibly a poor prognostic factor in head and neck cancer.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia.



Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) correlates with inactivated tumor suppressor genes. The aim of this study was to see if LOH on chromosomes 2q, 3p, 5q, 9p, and 17p correlated with survival in early squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).


A case control study was performed. Ten patients with stage I or II tumors who ultimately died of their disease were identified and matched with suitable controls. None of the controls had a local recurrence and at time of last follow-up were alive with no evidence of disease or had died of an unrelated illness. The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was extracted from paraffin blocks, and LOH studies were performed using microsatellite markers.


The respective incidence of allelic loss for the index and control patients was as follows: chromosome 2q, 75% and 20% (p = .03); chromosome 3p, 71% and 57%, respectively (not significant); chromosome arm 5q, 30% and 25% (not significant); chromosome arm 9p, 71% and 73% (not significant); and chromosome arm 17p, 75% and 46% (not significant). Therefore, loss on chromosome 2q strongly correlated with poor survival (odds ratio = 10.4).


Loss of heterozygosity on chromosome 2q may correlate with a poor prognosis in early-stage SCCHN.

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