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Identification of microRNAs in saliva associated with long-term benefit of chemoradiotherapy in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity and oropharynx


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most common cancer in the world. Most patients are diagnosed in advanced stages of the disease, with unsatisfactory survival rates. In locally advanced and unresectable HNSCC standard treatment in ICESP is cisplatin based chemoradiotherapy (QRT). The discovery of markers that may indicate the benefit of QRT regimens, taking into account the toxicity of this therapy, is a great challenge. Another important issue is early detection of tumor recurrence after QRT, which may be difficult due to the presence of residual scar tissue. Recent studies have demonstrated that microRNAs have key roles in the mechanisms of QRT resistance. To identify microRNAs candidates associated with QRT resistance and early detection of tumor recurrence, we will perform an in silico analysis from literature data of microRNAs and mRNAs that have been described associated with resistance to cisplatin and/or radiotherapy. The expression of those candidates will be determined in the saliva of locally advanced and unresectable oral cavity and oropharynx HNSCC patients at different stages of disease progression (previous to treatment, with disease recurrence and free of disease) and of control group, by RT-qPCR. Those expression values will be compared between groups in order to identify microRNA that may indicate the benefit of QRT and disease recurrence in these patients. Thus, this study may contribute to a better understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in long-term benefit of QRT and optimization of patient follow-up. (AU)

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