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Disease Markers
Volume 32, Issue 1, Pages 51-64

Resistance/Response Molecular Signature for Oral Tongue Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Amritha Suresh,1 Muhil Vannan,2 Dhanya Kumaran,2 Zeynep H. Gümüs,3 Priya Sivadas,1 Elango Erode Murugaian,4 Vikram Kekatpure,1 Subramanian Iyer,2 Kumarasamy Thangaraj,5 and Moni Abraham Kuriakose1

1Head and Neck Oncology Services, Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre, Narayana Hrudayalaya Foundations, Bangalore, India
2Head and Neck Surgery, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi, India
3Department of Physiology and Biophysics and HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA
4Department of Molecular Diagnostics, Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre, Narayana Hrudayalaya Foundations, Bangalore, India
5Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India

Received 19 January 2012; Accepted 19 January 2012

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Worldwide, the incidence of oral tongue cancer is on the rise, adding to the existing burden due to prevailing low survival and high recurrence rates. This study uses high-throughput expression profiling to identify candidate markers of resistance/response in patients with oral tongue cancer. Analysis of primary and post-treatment samples (12 tumor and 8 normal) by the Affymetrix platform (HG U133 plus 2) identified 119 genes as differentially regulated in recurrent tumors. The study groups had distinct profiles, with induction of immune response and apoptotic pathways in the non-recurrent and metastatic/invasiveness pathways in the recurrent group. Validation was carried out in tissues by Quantitative Real-Time PCR (QPCR) (n=30) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) (n=35) and in saliva by QPCR (n=37). The markers, COL5A1, HBB, IGLA and CTSC individually and COL5A1 and HBB in combination had the best predictive power for treatment response in the patients. A subset of markers identified (COL5A1, ABCG1, MMP1, IL8, FN1) could be detected in the saliva of patients with oral cancers with their combined sensitivity and specificity being 0.65 and 0.87 respectively. The study thus emphasizes the extreme prognostic value of exploring markers of treatment resistance that are expressed in both tissue and saliva.