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November 1993

Growth Factor mRNA Expression in Human Head and Neck Malignant Tumors

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(11):1247-1252. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880230093014

Objective:  Growth factor overexpression has been shown to be an integral part of the growth promotion of a number of tumors, including breast carcinoma, colon carcinoma, and sarcomas. The role of peptide growth factors in the regulation of growth of head and neck cancers has not been extensively investigated, however. In this study, we present our preliminary results of the pattern of expression of four growth factors: insulinlike growth factor II, transforming growth factor–α, basic fibroblast growth factor, and platelet-derived growth factor A chain in human head and neck tumors.

Design:  We examined eight benign and 27 malignant human head and neck surgical specimens for the expression of growth factor messenger RNAs using the polymerase chain reaction technique.

Results:  Our preliminary data demonstrate that growth factor messenger RNA is expressed by most of our malignant head and neck cancer specimens and by all eight benign head and neck tissue specimens. However, we were not able to show any distinction in the pattern of growth factor RNA expression among the malignant head and neck surgical specimens for the four growth factors studied to date.

Conclusions:  These findings demonstrate that the expression of specific biologically active genes can be studied in routine surgical specimens using the polymerase chain reaction. The clinical prognostic significance of the overexpression of growth factors in head and neck malignancy as well as future therapeutic implications are discussed.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119:1247-1252)

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