Understanding oral cancer in the genome era

Head Neck. 2010 Sep;32(9):1246-68. doi: 10.1002/hed.21358.


Completion of the human genome project approximately 15 years ago was followed closely by advancements in array technology. Investigators quickly applied this new powerful tool to the genomic and proteomic study of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Resultant publications documented chromosome, gene, mRNA, and protein alterations that characterize oral cancer. In this review, we summarize how the genomic, proteomic, and epigenetic array studies have provided insight into the process of oral carcinogenesis. We discuss the significant limitations and requirement for validation of these array studies. We also review the manner in which state-of-the-art, high-throughput approaches are being used to search for salivary and serum oral cancer biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Genome, Human / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mouth Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / mortality
  • Mouth Neoplasms / therapy
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Protein Array Analysis
  • Proteomics
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • RNA, Messenger