Table of Contents
ISRN Otolaryngology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 931813, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2011/931813
Review Article

The Role of p53 and MDM2 in Head and Neck Cancer

1Oncology Department, ASO Santa Croce e Carle Cuneo, Via Michele Coppino 21, 12100 Cuneo, Italy
2Radiotherapy Department, ASO Santa Croce e Carle Cuneo, Via Michele Coppino 21, 12100 Cuneo, Italy
3Oncology Department, Policlinico G Martino, Via Consolare Valeria 1, 98100 Messina, Italy

Received 6 September 2011; Accepted 29 September 2011

Academic Editors: K. Ishikawa and M. Khyatti

Copyright © 2011 N. Denaro et al. 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.

Abstract

Head and neck cancer is a complex disorder that includes mostly squamous cell carcinomas that can develop in the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses, and mouth. Etiopathogenesis is due to tobacco and alcohol consumption and to infection by human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16/18. Tumors often develop within preneoplastic fields of genetically altered cells. Most head and neck cancers result from multistep accumulation of genetic alterationsm resulting in clonal outgrowth of transformed cells. These DNA changes are caused by a variety of mechanisms like endogenous mutations and exogenous mutations. Dysregulated molecular pathway includes alterations of critical inhibitor of cyclin CDK complexes, inactivating mutations of p53 gene, and activation of oncogenes and growth factors. This paper attempts to review the role of p53 and MDM2 genetic aberrations and pathways in head and neck cancer.