Objectives: The development of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a complex, multistep process. To date, numerous oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes have been implicated in oral carcinogenesis. Of particular interest in this regard are genes involved in cell cycling and apoptosis, such BRAF, KRAS, and PIK3CA genes.
Study design: Mutations of BRAF, KRAS, and PIK3CA were evaluated by direct genomic sequencing of exons 1 of KRAS, 11 and 15 of BRAF, and 9 and 20 of PIK3CA in OSCC specimens.
Results: Both BRAF and KRAS mutations were detected with a mutation frequency of 2% (1/42). PIK3CA mutations were detected at 3% (1/35).
Conclusions: This is the first report implicating BRAF mutation in OSCC. Our study supports that mutations in the BRAF, KRAS, and PIK3CA genes make at least a minor contribution to OSCC tumorigenesis, and pathway-specific therapies targeting these 2 pathways should be considered for OSCC in a subset of patients with these mutations.
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