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Profile of sphingolipids in head and neck cancer

Grant number: 18/03278-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2018
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Dentistry
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Andréia Machado Leopoldino
Grantee:Raquel Roman Faedo
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Sphingolipids are a class of essential lipids in eukaryotes not only by composing the plasma membrane but because they are bioactive molecules. Thus, they are involved in the regulation of many cellular processes and different types of signaling. Among the diversity of pathways that sphingolipids are associated with are included cell proliferation, apoptosis, senescence, angiogenesis, endocytosis, transport, migration, and inflammation. Among the main bioactive sphingolipids are ceramide and sphingosine which are molecules responsible for growth control, cell proliferation and survival. Another important sphingolipid is sphingosine-1-phosphate is a pro-survival molecule, acting in the autocrine, paracrine and / or endocrine way in cell proliferation, adhesion, motility, angiogenesis and inflammation. Because of the large number of pathways that these molecules regulate the imbalance in metabolism triggers a series of pathologies, such as cancer. In head and neck cancer the reduction in ceramide levels was associated with tumor progression and worse prognosis, but the other sphingolipids were not evaluated. Based on the potential impact of sphingolipid levels on cancer, we propose in this study to determine the profile of different sphingolipids in samples from patients with head and neck cancer to evaluate possible associations with clinical and pathological parameters. Serum and / or blood samples as well as tumor fragments from patients with CCP for extracting sphingolipids will be used. The determination of the sphingolipids will be done by the technique of mass spectrometry. The data will be submitted to statistical analysis to determine the significant associations between the different parameters and sphingolipids. It is hoped in the end of this study it will be possible to broaden our understanding of the role of these molecules in the clinical and pathological aspects of the neoplasms studied, in the future to explore these molecules as biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets. (AU)