Head and neck cancer corresponds to the sixth most frequent tumor malignancy worldwide. The majority of the cases is squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), with a 5-year survival rate of 50%. The classification of the development stage of the disease is given by the TNM classification, also used for the determination of patient prognosis, in which the presence of lymph node metastasis is associated to the worst prognosis. The extracellular vesicles (EVs) are important mediators in the intercellular communication, playing an important role in the development of metastasis, as reported for some glycoprotein identified in EVs. Several glycoproteins from different types of tumors are used in the clinical practice for prognosis, monitoring, treatment response, among others. Thus, the main goal of this project is to search for potential prognostic markers such as glycoproteins of the surface of EVs from plasma of oral cancer patients, a source of liquid biopsy. In collaboration with ICESP (Cancer Institute of São Paulo), the plasma will be collected from oral cancer patients with clinical absence of lymph node metastasis (N0) and with T3 and T4, and from patients with lymph node metastasis (N+) and with T1 and T2. The EVs obtained from plasma of patients with or without lymph node metastasis will be analyzed by discovery based proteomics. The proteomic data will be correlated with clinicopathological features of the patients, with emphasis in metastasis. The selected glycoproteins will be verified in independent samples of a bigger cohort by targeted proteomics and then associated to clinical and pathological features of the patients. This project aims to indicate glycoproteins from the surface of extracellular vesicles that correlate with the presence of lymph node metastasis, and then, identify prognostic markers in patients with oral cancer (OSCC).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: