Identifying genetic changes associated with tumor progression in squamous cell carcinoma

Thomas E. Carey, Christopher J. Frank, Jeffrey R. Raval, Jessica W. Jones, Kenneth D. McClatchey, Theodore F. Beals, Maria J. Worsham, Daniel L. Van Dyke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Tumor behavior is the result of specific genetic changes that alter gene expression. From our cytogenetic studies chromosome 18 loss emerged as a common genetic change in squamous carcinoma cell lines. In this report we summarize data that link loss of 18 to tumor progression and reduced survival, indicating that one or more tumor suppressor gene(s) are located on this chromosome. Tumors grown in vitro were karyotyped either as short-term or permanent cultures. Loss of chromosome 18 was measured by karyotype, decreased frequency of heterozygosity at the DCC locus, and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) for microsatellite repeat polymorphisms (MSRP). Loss of any part of chromosome 18 was observed in ~63% of cultured tumors. Primary and secondary tumors from the same individuals sometimes differed in loss of 18 indicating that this genetic change is associated with tumor progression. Heterozygosity for DCC was present in only 3/19 cultured SCC (16%), compared with 68% (11/16) of blood samples from unrelated donors, which is consistent with LOH in roughly one half of the cases. Of 4 informative cases with normal and tumor tissue, LOH was observed in 2. Microsatellite analysis also shows loss of 18q in 55% of fresh tumors. Analysis of tumor tissue and cell lines from the same patient gave identical results. There was an excess of deaths from cancer in the group with 18 loss (20/25) when compared with the group without (5/15). Loss of chromosome 18 appears to be a marker of tumor progression in SCC. It is likely that mutation affecting DCC or another gene on 18 affects tumor growth or spread, leading to more rapid progression and reduced survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-232
Number of pages4
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica, Supplement
Issue number529
StatePublished - 1997


  • Chromosome pair 18
  • DCC gene
  • DPC4 gene
  • Loss of heterozygosity
  • Tumor suppressor genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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