Objective: To determine the clinical and prognostic significance of chromosome 11q13 amplification in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
Design: Retrospective clinical analysis.
Setting: University and private cancer centers.
Patients: Fifty-six patients with pathologically confirmed head and neck squamous cell carcinoma whose tumors had been assayed for the presence or absence of chromosome 11q13 amplification.
Measurements: The degree of DNA amplification in each tumor was determined using chromosome 11q13 probes for the bcl-1 major translocation cluster, PRAD1/cyclin D1 (CCND1), the fibroblast growth factor gene HST1, EMS1, and glutathione-S-transferase-pi-1. The presence or absence of amplification in each patient was correlated with primary site, tumor stage, nodal status, presence or absence of distant metastasis, disease recurrence, time to recurrence, clinical outcome (disease status), and overall survival.
Results: Amplification of chromosome 11q13 was identified in 39% (22/56) of patients. Recurrent or persistent disease was identified in 82% (18/22) of cases with amplification and 50% (14/28) of nonamplified cases (P = .04). Mean time to recurrence was shorter in cases with amplification (6.2 months) than those without amplification (10.1 months) (P = .01). Eighteen patients (82%) with amplification and 10 patients (38%) without amplification died of disease or are alive with disease (P = .001). The mean follow-up period was 15.8 months for patients with amplification and 18.6 months for patients without amplification. Overall survival was significantly diminished in patients with amplification (P = .002). Amplification was not related to nodal status, distant metastases, or initial disease stage.
Conclusions: Amplification of chromosome 11q13 loci may be an important biologic marker indicating poor prognosis, independent of clinical stage in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and it should be assessed in prospective trials to determine its utility for stratifying treatment and determining prognosis.