Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a common cancer in Southern China but rare in Western countries. To search for genetic alterations in NPC, we examined a series of 20 primary tumours with comparative genomic hybridisation. The identified common chromosomal alterations included gain of chromosomes 1q, 8, 12, 19 and 20 as well as loss of chromosomes 1p, 3p, 9p, 9q, 11q, 13q, 14q and 16q. In concordance with our previous loss of heterozygosity studies in primary NPC, a high incidence of loss was detected on chromosomes 3p (75%), 11q (70%) and 14q (65%). Losses of 9q (60%), 13q (50%) and 16q (40%) were also identified. Novel chromosomal gains were observed on chromosome 12, with a high frequency (70%). Current analysis has revealed a comprehensive profile of the chromosomal regions showing losses and gains in primary NPC. Our findings may provide an entry point for conducting further investigations to locate the putative tumour-suppresser genes and oncogenes that may be involved in the tumourigenesis of NPC.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.