Allelic losses in OraTest-directed biopsies of patients with prior upper aerodigestive tract malignancy

Z. Guo, K. Yamaguchi, M. Sanchez-Cespedes, W. H. Westra, W. M. Koch, D. Sidransky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genetic alterations at critical chromosome loci have been shown to be predictors of the progression of oral premalignancy-to-invasive cancer. We obtained a unique group of oral biopsies, initially collected during a prospective study designed to test the ability of OraTest (toluidine blue), to identify recurrent oral neoplastic lesions in patients with definite therapy for head and neck or upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) cancer. A total of 46 cases, including 13 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), 11 carcinoma-in situ or dysplasia, and 22 morphologically normal oral biopsies, were analyzed for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at 9p21, 3p21, and 17p13(TP53) by microsatellite analysis. LOH at one or more tested markers in at least one biopsy was detected in 76% (35 of 46) cases. All of the SCC and carcinoma-in situ cases showed LOH, and, strikingly, more than one-half (69%, 13 of 22) of morphologically normal epithelia also harbored LOH in at least one tested marker. The most frequent LOH was found on chromosome 9p21 (69%, 31 of 45). LOH was observed at 3p21, 17p13(TP53), or in multiple chromosomal arms significantly more often in SCC than in normal epithelia. In the majority of cases, two oral biopsies, one from an OraTest-staining positive area and another from a negative area adjacent to the stain, were collected. Among 25 LOH positive cases with two biopsies, identical allelic losses were confirmed between stained and nonstained biopsies in 16 cases. In the remaining nine cases with discordant LOH patterns between two biopsies, eight cases showed LOH at more genetic loci in OraTest-stained areas. Our data confirm that clonal genetic alterations, especially 9p21 deletion, are often present in the oral epithelia of patients with previous UADT malignancy and, combined with previous studies, suggest that genetic analysis will help stratify patients at risk of developing a secondary oral cancer. In addition to detecting cancer, our study suggests that OraTest can detect clinically occult lesions in the progression pathway to oral cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1963-1968
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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