Background Mind and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a debilitating and lethal disease. of biomarkers in the molecular analysis of HNSCC. Methods A review of the English literature (PubMed) from 1980 to 2009. Results/summary Currently the most widely approved biomarker for HNSCC is definitely high risk HPV status. EGFR is definitely another encouraging biomarker however further study is necessary to determine its prognostic benefit. A large number of encouraging biomarker candidates are currently becoming Rabbit Polyclonal to RBM26. evaluated including epigenetic manifestation and genomic centered markers. Studies to validate the level of sensitivity and specificity of these biomarkers in medical samples from properly powered prospective cohorts are needed for successful translation of these findings into potential molecular diagnostic prognostic and restorative biomarkers for HNSCC. ((((promoter methylation status is a key feature of glioblastomas that characterizes the response of tumors to temozolamide and radiotherapy treatment in approximately a third of tumors. Methylation of this molecular biomarker is associated with not only marked improvement in treatment response but also increased survival . Similarly and receptor positivity in breast cancer dictates disease behavior prognosis and treatment selection [18-20]. Tumors expressing and receptors respond frequently to endocrine therapy with Tamoxifen and bring a far greater prognosis. Many of these individuals may avoid toxic and aggressive chemotherapy real estate agents even though still getting effectively treated for the condition. status can be a marker of even more intense disease with higher recurrence price and frequent level of resistance to standard chemotherapeutic therapies but at the same time can stratify patients to tailored therapy with Herceptin a specific antibody [21 22 Molecular and cellular biology are promising fields of study in HNSCC that continually lead to the discovery of novel biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets. In addition advancements in head and Galeterone neck cancer epidemiology genetics epigenetics proteomics RNA and microRNA along with the rapid development of high throughput microarray technology and powerful bioinformatics that allow integration of complex data and molecular pathways all help elucidate the complex picture of HNSCC tumorigenesis. The use of molecular biomarkers multiple gene detection panels and targeted therapeutics are becoming a reality in everyday clinical practice. However translational research studies need to continue as further insight into the molecular basis of head and neck cancer will yield advances in early screening and diagnosis and ultimately hopefully translate into improved clinical outcomes. In the following sections we will review and discuss recent discoveries in HNSCC tumor biology and their impact on potential molecular screening and diagnosis of head and neck cancer. 2 MOLECULAR PROGNOSTIC FACTORS 2.1 Human papillomavirus infection in head and neck cancer Tobacco and alcohol consumption are Galeterone two primary environmental risk factors associated with the development of HNSCC. In the last two decades new insight into head and neck cancer epidemiology recognized that infection with viral pathogens such as human papillomavirus (HPV) play an important causal role in the pathogenesis of a unique subset of oropharyngeal HNSCC similar to the role HPV infection plays in cervical cancer [23-29]. Human papillomavirus Galeterone is present in up to 60% of patients with oropharyngeal HNSCC and confers a favorable prognosis in terms of recurrence and mortality and is a distinct established entity that can be reliably diagnosed. Briefly human papillomavirus is a ~7.9 kb non-enveloped double-stranded circular DNA virus that has a specific tropism for squamous epithelium. There are 13 known high-risk HPV types that can transform cells that may lead to cancer but only high-risk HPV subtypes 6 16 18 31 33 and 35 have been identified as playing a role in the development of oropharyngeal HNSCC [24 27 30 Regardless of the study population high-risk HPV16 accounts for the Galeterone overwhelming majority (90-95%) of HPV-positive tumors . The and oncoproteins contained within the viral genome are able to disrupt the function of and capsid proteins while other propose the use of and oncoprotein specific antibodies to detect HPV . The Galeterone biological relevance of this is yet to be resolved though detecting biologically active virus in tumors is the key for theragnostic clinical studies. Commercially available in situ hybridization assays for HPV DNA are for now the gold standard.