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Genes signal late-stage laryngeal cancer, poorer outcome
Date:10/7/2009

SAN DIEGO Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital have identified tumor-suppressing genes that may provide a more accurate diagnosis of disease stage and survival for laryngeal cancer patients than current standards.

The study finds genetic abnormalities of the ESR1(estrogen specific receptor 1) gene and the HIC1 (hypermethylated in cancer 1) gene are predictors of late-stage laryngeal cancer and shorter survival, respectively, for patients with the disease.

Study results will be presented Wednesday, Oct. 7 at the American Academy of OtolaryngologyHead & Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO.

"These two genes provide some insight into the biology of the tumor," says study senior author Maria J. Worsham, Ph.D., director of research in the Department of Otolaryngology at Henry Ford Hospital. "Loss of gene function as a result of abnormal methylation of promoter regions of tumor suppressor genes can be reversed by drugs that can restore normal gene function, opening the door to other treatment options for patients with laryngeal cancer."

Similar to previous studies on laryngeal cancer, the Henry Ford study also shows that African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage laryngeal cancer.

This year alone, the American Cancer Society estimates 12,290 new cases of laryngeal cancer cancers that start in the voice box will be diagnosed.

Following diagnosis, the cancer stage is currently assessed based on tumor size and how far it's spread within the voice box, and whether the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or other organs. The stage (0-4) of the cancer helps health care providers make a prognosis for survival and determine a possible course for treatment.

For the study, Henry Ford researcher and lead author Josena Stephen, M.D., and Dr. Worsham looked at 80 patients with laryngeal squamous cell cancer who were diagnosed between 1996 and 2008. Forty percent of the study g
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Contact: Krista Hopson
khopson1@hfhs.org
313-874-7207
Henry Ford Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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