gms | German Medical Science

79th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

30.04. - 04.05.2008, Bonn

Genetic heterogeneity in squamous cell carcinoma

Meeting Abstract

  • Iris Tischoff - Institut für Pathologie, Bochum
  • Christian Wittekind - Institut für Pathologie, Leipzig
  • Andrea Tannapfel - Institut für Pathologie, Bochum
  • corresponding author Anette Weber - HNO Klinik, Remscheid

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. 79. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. Bonn, 30.04.-04.05.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2008. Doc08hnod199

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: April 22, 2008

© 2008 Tischoff et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: A better understanding of the molecular alterations in different lesions of patients with primary and recurrent squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC) may help in defining the best treatment approach.

Methods: We performed a detailed molecular analysis of several tumor specimens obtained from 21 patients presenting with primary and recurrent HNSCC. Tumor specimens were analyzed for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and k-ras mutations by direct DNA sequencing. In addition, a genome-wide chromosomal copy number analysis was performed on DNA extracted from the various lesions using array-based comparative genomic hybridization.

Results: As expected, a similar pattern of chromosomal aberrations was observed in all cases examined, suggesting that they share the same clonal origin. In contrast, we identified different k-ras genotypes among the various lesions from the same patient. The EGFR status was also different between primary and recurrent HNSCC.

Conclusion: Our results indicate, that primary and recurrent HNSCC differ in their genetic profile in terms of k-ras as well as EGFR pathways. Different molecular (“targeted”) strategies are therefore necessary to treat patients with recurrent tumors.