Head and neck cancer is a broad term that comprises malignant epithelial alterations in the paranasal sinuses, nasal cavity, oral cavity, pharynx, and larynx. The most of cases are squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), which represent one of the six most incident tumors of the world associated to tobacco and alcohol consumption. Head and neck SCC arises as a result of accumulated damage in genes that regulate the cellular proliferation, senescence, invasion, motility, and cell survival. Besides these alterations, HPV viruses also appear to play a pathogenic role in a subset of oropharyngeal tumors. Almost half of patients with head and neck carcinomas present advanced stage disease at diagnosis commonly involving regional lymph nodes and distant metastasis, which leads to lower survival rates and surgical options. Clinical studies reveal that patients treated with concurrent administration of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy) show better results in global and free recurrence survival rates and the loco-regional control of this disease. There are few studies in the literature that correlates biological predictors of response with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy in oropharyngeal SCC, and most of them are based in heterogeneous groups of head and neck tumors. The goal of this study is to compare the data obtained from the global genome analyses by copy number variations (CGH arrays) in 40 oropharyngeal SCC samples. The data will also be correlated to the treatment response (combination of docetaxel, cisplatin and 5-fluoro-uracil followed by chemoradiotherapy associated to carboplatin) and the HPV infection association and clinical-pathological data from patients, in order to detect biological markers which may be useful as potential treatment response predictors in oropharyngeal carcinomas.
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