Interdisciplinary Training

Yu Chen

"Genome-wide DNA Copy Number Abnormalities and Prognosis of Patients with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma"

Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the 6th most frequently diagnosed cancer and a major pubic health burden worldwide, with annual incidence of approximately 400,000. The 5-year survival rate of patients suffering OSCC is only 55 % for U.S. Whites and 34 % for U.S. Blacks. The overall prognosis for OSCC patients has not been improved in the past two decades due to limited ability to predict the natural history of OSCC. The traditional TNM staging and other tumor characteristics do not reliably identify which patients with pre-neoplastic lesions will advance to invasive OSCC and which patients with invasive OSCC may benefit most from specific diagnostic and/or therapeutic interventions. DNA copy number (DCN) abnormalities that result in altered gene expression are critical to tumorigenesis. By studying genome-wide DCN abnormalities in OSCC patients, we hope to identify effective prognosis markers to predict clinical outcomes of OSCC patients. To address this question, we will examine the DCN abnormalities in biological samples collected from OSCC patients and their association with patients' survival. Results of this study will improve our understanding of tumor behavior and will help us identify potential OSCC prognostic indicators.