Frequent chromosomal aberrations and candidate genes in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2016 Mar;273(3):537-45. doi: 10.1007/s00405-014-3339-1. Epub 2014 Oct 30.


The knowledge of the biology of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) has had relatively little impact on the improvement in oncologic outcome up to date. However, the identification of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) involved in cancer progression contributes to the understanding of the molecular pathways involved in oncogenesis and could contribute to individual risk assessment and provide tools for improvement of treatment and targets for therapy based on the alterations in these pathways. The aim of this article is to review the chromosomal aberrations commonly found in HNSCC, to identify the genes in these chromosomal regions suggested to act as (candidate) oncogenes or TSGs, and to discuss the molecular mechanisms modulating their expression.

Keywords: Chromosome alterations; Head and neck carcinoma; Markers of progression; Oncogenes; Tumor suppressor genes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Oncogenes