Hayes - Genomic alterations in head and neck cancers are possible therapy targets

Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, associate professor in UNC's Division of Hematology and Oncology, presented on the patterns of genomic alterations in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) at the AACR's 2013 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The research was conducted as part of the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a National Institutes of Health initiative to sequence cancers with an emphasis on those with poor prognosis like head and neck cancers.

"HNSCC is a tobacco-related cancer," Hayes said. "We frequently see very altered genomes in other tobacco-related tumors. One of the striking things we observed was a high degree of similarity to other squamous tumors, including lung squamous cell carcinoma. Lessons learned from studying the similarities and differences between tumors, such as these copy number alterations, will be one of the angles researchers will follow to better understand the pathways altered in cancer."

Read more at the MedicalXpress website.