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Integrated study of gene expression and microRNA in mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the salivary glands

Grant number: 13/04045-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2013
Effective date (End): February 29, 2016
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Dentistry - Dental Clinics
Principal Investigator:Fabricio Passador-Santos
Grantee:Amy Louise Brown
Home Institution: Centro de Pesquisas Odontológicas São Leopoldo Mandic. Faculdade São Leopoldo Mandic (SLMANDIC). Sociedade Regional de Ensino e Saúde S/S Ltda (SRES). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the commonest malignancy in salivary glands. Despite its diagnostic criteria being well established, there are no reliable prognostic criteria in terms of its clinical behavior. This can lead to patients being treated too conservatively or too aggressively, leading to disease progression or increased morbidity, respectively. A recent study described the recurrent translocation t(11;19), which causes the formation of a fused transcript (CRTC1/MAML2) principally, but not exclusively, in low grade tumors with favorable outcomes. However, its use as a definitive marker of prognosis is difficult as some high-grade tumors also contain a translocation. Although there is plenty of evidence for the use of gene expression techniques, namely Microarrays, in breast carcinomas, few genome-wide gene expression studies exist have been carried out for mucoepidermoid carcinomas. The existing studies have low sample numbers and discrepancies in their findings. MicroRNAs are small RNAs with approximately 19-25 nucleotides, which represent a new category of post-transcriptional protein expression control. During the last decade their use has been demonstrated in various neoplasms. Furthermore, in some tumors, microRNAs have been used as a prognostic, diagnostic and treatment responsive marker and therefore, may represent a new therapeutic target. There are no studies regarding microRNA expression profiles for mucoepidermoid carcinomas in the literature. This study will assess gene expression and microRNA profiles, and then correlate the findings with the histological classification, clinical and histological characteristics of mucoepidermoid carcinomas, with the aim of identifying possible prognostic markers. (AU)