Molecular evidence of field cancerization in a patient with 7 tumors of the aerodigestive tract

B. P. van Rees, A. M. Cleton-Jansen, H. A. Cense, M. M. Polak, M. J. Clement, P. Drillenburg, J. J. van Lanschot, G. J. Offerhaus

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Exposure of the mucosa of the upper aerodigestive tract to carcinogens can induce genetic changes resulting in various independent clones of neoplastic growth, a concept defined as "field cancerization." The risk of developing multiple tumors in this compartment of the body is well established. We studied 6 distinct tumors of the upper aerodigestive tract of a single patient for loss of heterozygosity (LOH), microsatellite instability (MSI), p53 mutations, and K-ras codon 12 point mutations. We detected a unique pattern of LOH and p53 mutations in all 6 tumors. No tumor showed a K-ras mutation or MSI. The results support the mechanism of "field cancerization" and illustrate the potential power of molecular techniques to elucidate pathogenesis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-271
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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