A panel of biomarkers of carcinogenesis of the upper aerodigestive tract as potential intermediate endpoints in chemoprevention trials

Marcel P. Copper, Boudewijn J.M. Braakhuis, Nico de Vries, Guus A.M.S. Van Dongen, Jos J.P. Nauta, Gordon B. Snow

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck have a 10–30% risk of developing a second primary tumor. The concept of “field cancerization” assumes that the whole upper aerodigestive tract is affected and prone to malignant transformation. This study was undertaken to investigate the value of a panel of monoclonal antibodies to identify biomarkers in oral mucosa associated with cancer risk. Such biomarkers may be suitable candidates to serve as intermediate endpoints in cancer chemoprevention trials. Methods. As a model, the expression of antigens was assessed in cytologic preparations obtained from macroscopically normal oral mucosa of patients with tongue carcinoma and of controls. The panel consisted of antibodies against cytokeratin 8, 10, 13, and 19 and the monoclonal antibodies designated K931, K984, E48, Ki‐67, and UM‐A9. Results. Oral mucosa of cancer patients had a more than threefold increased expression of cytokeratin 19 as compared with controls (36.0 versus 11.3%; P < 0.01). Conclusion. Cytokeratin 19 is a potential intermediate endpoint in head and neck cancer chemopreventive trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-830
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993


  • biomarkers
  • chemoprevention
  • cytokeratins
  • head and neck cancer
  • second primary tumors

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