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Cellular Oncology
Volume 29 (2007), Issue 4, Pages 327-334

Deletions of N33, STK11 and TP53 Are Involved in the Development of Lymph Node Metastasis in Larynx and Pharynx Carcinomas

Marta Alonso Guervós,1 César Álvarez Marcos,2 Mario Hermsen,1 Andrés Sampedro Nuño,3 Carlos Suárez,1 and José Luis Llorente1

1Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias (IUOPA), Oviedo, Spain
2Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital Valle del Nalón, Asturias, Spain
3Department of Pathology, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: Lymph node metastasis is the mayor cause of mortality in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (45%). The genetic changes underlying metastasis are still largely unknown and genetic markers to predict lymph node positivity still need to be found. The aim of this study was to search such markers by using Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA), a semi-quantitative PCR technique to detect gene copy number alterations. Methods: Thirty-seven genes were analysed by MLPA in 34 larynx and 22 pharynx carcinomas. Results: Losses of CDKN2A (9p21) and MLH1 (3p22) and gains of CCND1, EMS1 (both at 11q13), RECQL4 and PTP4A3 (both at 8q24) were the most frequent aberrations in both larynx and pharynx carcinomas. Amplifications were detected at EMS1, CCND1 and ERBB2 (17q21). A correlation between loss of N33 (8p22) and poor survival was found (p=0.02). Gain of EMS1 had the same relation with survival but not significant (p=0.08). Lymph node positive tumors presented a specific pattern of genetic alterations, with losses of N33, STK11 (19p13) and TP53 (17p13), the latter especially in larynx tumors. Conclusion: We propose that these 3 genes might play a role in the development of metastasis in larynx and pharynx squamous cell carcinomas.