Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common malignancy in the world. The five-year survival is 50% of cases and poor prognosis is directly related to the development of regional lymph node metastases. Several molecular markers of prognosis have been reported in the literature for head and neck tumors, but none of them is currently used in clinical practice. This project was designed to determine the proteomic profile of the invasive front and lymph node metastasis sites of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), and verify the association with prognostic. The protein characterization will be carried out by laser microdissection followed by discovery-based proteomics using mass spectrometry for (i) invasive front of primary tumor without metastasis vs invasive front of primary tumor with metastasis and (ii) lymph node sites with metastasis vs lymph node sites without metastasis. The proteomic data will be biologically characterized and correlated with clinical and pathological features. Selected proteins will be verified in independent samples by using targeted-based proteomics and at least five candidates will be further validated using tissue microarray and migration, proliferation, invasion and adhesion functional assays. By these analysis, we intend to contribute to the knowledge of the neoplasm and identify prognostic factors in patients with head and neck tumors.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: