Collections > UNC Scholarly Publications > Article > Molecular classification of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas using patterns of gene expression

The prognostication of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is largely based upon the tumor size and location and the presence of lymph node metastases. Here we show that gene expression patterns from 60 HNSCC samples assayed on cDNA microarrays allowed categorization of these tumors into four distinct subtypes. These subtypes showed statistically significant differences in recurrence-free survival and included a subtype with a possible EGFR-pathway signature, a mesenchymal-enriched subtype, a normal epithelium-like subtype, and a subtype with high levels of antioxidant enzymes. Supervised analyses to predict lymph node metastasis status were approximately 80% accurate when tumor subsite and pathological node status were considered simultaneously. This work represents an important step toward the identification of clinically significant biomarkers for HNSCC.