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May 1996

MYC Amplification in Squamous Cell Carcinomas of the Head and Neck

Author Affiliations

From the Otorhinolaryngology Service, Hospital Central de Asturias (Drs Rodrigo, Alvarez, and Suárez), and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Drs Lazo and Ramos), Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(5):504-507. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890170038008

Objectives:  To establish the frequency of MYC amplification in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the head and neck and to evaluate its correlation with clinicopathologic variables that are used in clinical practice.

Design:  Cohort analytic study.

Setting:  University hospital.

Patients:  Fifty-nine consecutive patients with SCC of the head and neck.

Intervention:  Oncologic surgery.

Main Outcome Measures:  The MYC copy number in tumor samples was estimated with the polymerase chain reaction. The presence or absence of amplification was correlated with the anatomic site, T stage, nodal involvement, pathologic grade, recurrence, distant metastases, and survival.

Results:  Six SCC specimens (11%) showed MYC amplification. A highly statistical correlation between MYC amplification and T stage was noted (P<.005). Amplification was also significantly correlated with a hypopharyngeal primary site (P<.05). No correlation among amplification status, nodal involvement, pathologic grade, relapse, metastases, and survival was observed.

Conclusions:  Amplification of MYC is associated with advanced primary tumors, and it appears to be a late event in the tumorigenesis of SCCS of the head and neck. However, there is no correlation between MYC amplification and prognosis.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122:504-507)