Comparative genomic analysis of oral versus laryngeal and pharyngeal cancer.



Despite showing a similar mutational profile, our comparative genomic analysis revealed distinctive features in OSCC and L/P-SCC. Some of these genes and cellular processes are likely to affect the cellular response to radiation or cisplatin. Genomic characterizations may guide or enable personalized treatment in the future.


The mutational profiles of OSCC and L/P-SCC showed many similarities. However, OSCC was significantly enriched for CASP8 (NKI: 15% vs 0%; TCGA: 17% vs 2%) and HRAS (TCGA: 10% vs 1%) mutations. LAMA2 (TCGA: 5% vs 19%) and NSD1 (TCGA: 7% vs 25%) mutations were enriched in L/P-SCC. Overall, we find that OSCC had fewer somatic point mutations and copy number aberrations than L/P-SCC. Interestingly, L/P-SCC scored higher in mutational and genomic scar signatures associated with homologous recombination DNA repair defects.


We performed target capture DNA sequencing on 111 HPV-negative HNSCC samples (NKI dataset), 55 oral and 56 laryngeal/pharyngeal, and identified somatic point mutations and copy number aberrations. We next expanded our analysis with 276 OSCC and 134 L/P-SCC sample data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA dataset). We focused our analyses on genes that are frequently mutated in HNSCC.


Locally advanced oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) shows lower locoregional control and disease specific survival rates than laryngeal and pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (L/P-SCC) after definitive chemoradiotherapy treatment. Despite clinical factors, this can point towards a different tumor biology that could impact chemoradiotherapy response rates. This prompted us to compare the mutational profiles of OSCC with L/P-SCC.

More about this publication

Oral oncology
  • Volume 81
  • Pages 35-44
  • Publication date 01-06-2018

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