Head and Neck Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

Acquired Uniparental Disomy Genomic Alterations in Head and Neck Cancer

By: Sarah Campen, PharmD
Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019

A study published in Neoplasia has revealed an association between acquired uniparental disomy genomic alterations and several factors, including smoking, alcohol intake, TP53 mutations, and human papillomavirus (HPV) status, in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Acquired uniparental disomy, an allele-based alteration in the genome, is the result of the loss of one chromosome followed by duplication of the remaining chromosome, and it and can involve either the whole chromosome or one segment.

“[Acquired uniparental disomy] regions are not random,” stated Gordon B. Mills, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and colleagues. “The data indicate that smoking, alcohol, and HPV-associated [head and neck squamous cell carcinomas] may have different underlying etiologies that could lead to different therapeutic opportunities or needs for these patients.”

By analyzing data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, the researchers found that alterations on chromosomes 4q, 5q, 9p, 9q, 13q, 17p, and CDKN2A occurred significantly more often in patients with TP53-mutated head and neck squamous cell carcinomas than in those with wild-type disease. On chromosomes 9q, 15q, and 17p, alterations were more frequent in HPV-positive than in HPV-negative samples with all head and neck carcinomas and laryngeal cancers. Alterations on chromosome 9p and at CDKN2A were significantly more common in women than in men.

Additionally, acquired uniparental disomy on the CDKN2A region occurred more often in drinkers of alcohol than in nondrinkers who had head and neck carcinomas and oral cavity cancers. Of note, alterations on chromosome 5q occurred less often in both drinkers of alcohol and smokers than in their counterparts who did not drink or smoke.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at sciencedirect.com.


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