Loss of 18q and homozygosity for the DCC locus: Possible markers for clinically aggressive squamous cell carcinoma

Wolfgang Kelker, Daniel L. Van Dyke, Maria J. Worsham, Patricia L. Christopherson, C. David James, Margaret R. Conlon, Thomas E. Carey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Karyotyping and polymorphisms within the DCC (deleted in colon cancer) locus (18q21) were used to analyse loss of chromosome 18 in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). Tumors from 26 patients (including 7 for whom matched tumor and normal DNA samples were available) were examined for heterozygous (LOH) at DCC. For 19 SCC tumor cultures normal tissue was not available. These were scored only as homozygous or heterozygous. The majority were homozygous. Only 3/19 (15%) were heterozygous. In contrast, in a panel of normal blood samples the majority, 11/16 (69%), were heterozygous. Allelic zygosity was concordant with the chromosome 18 content in the 16 tumors that were also karyotyped. Tumours from 40 patients, 37 that were karyotyped and three that were informative at the DCC locus, were assessed for loss of chromosome 18 occurred in tumours from 25. Twenty seven of the 40 patients have died and 13 are alive. There was strong association between loss of 18 and overall survival. Of those who are alive only 5/13 (38%) had loss of 18, whereas among those who have died 20/27 (74%) had loss of 18. By χ2 analysis the association of loss of 18 and death from cancer was significant (p > 0.01). The high frequency of chromosome 18 loss in SCC suggests that this region contains one or more tumor suppressor genes important in the clinical behaviour of SCC. DCC is one candidate, but other regions of loss not including the DCC locus indicate the chromosome 18 probably contains more than one tumor supressor locus. Prospective studies of chromosome 18 loss as a single prognostic indicator are strongly indicated in this tumor type since loss in early stage tumors might indicate a need for more aggressive therapy than would be given on the basis of staying alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2365-2372
Number of pages8
JournalAnticancer research
Issue number4 C
StatePublished - Jul 1996


  • Chromosomes
  • DCC locus
  • Homozygosity
  • Loss
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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