טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentNamouz Christine
SubjectThe Possible Role of Different Biomarkers in the Prognosis
of Head and Neck Sarcoma
DepartmentDepartment of Medicine
Supervisors Clinical Professor Micha Peled
Dr. Yoav Leiser
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

Sarcoma tumors have a poor prognosis specially when diagnosed at the head and neck region. The delicate and complex anatomy of head and neck prevents an entire surgical removal of the tumor and increases the risk of the recurrences rate. This fact emphasizes the importance of developing new alternative strategies for treating Sarcoma such as new specific targeted drugs.


In this study we aimed to examine the expression levels of three genes associated with tumor development and metastasis in head and neck Sarcoma tissues and to correlate it with patient’s outcome. Hopefully, these genes could serve as promising target for drug development, as well as a potential early biomarker of tumor progression.


A retrospective Immunohistochemistry staining study for the genes Heparanase, Tuftelin and Fanc-F, was performed for 23 head and neck Sarcoma tissues and 21 head and neck control tissues, all of them taken out from the pathological department archive. We compared the differences in staining levels between the two groups (Sarcoma and control). Later we analyzed the correlation between staining score of these genes in the Sarcoma group to the survival rate as described in the patient's hospital files and computer logs.


Comparing the staining score between the Sarcoma and control tissues, significance  differences were shown in the Heparanase and Tuftelin Staining levels, 69.6% of the Sarcoma tissues were stained positive to Heparanase while only 33.3% of the control tissues. 43.5% of the Sarcoma tissues were stained positive to Tuftelin while only 9.5% of the control. No significance difference was shown between the Sarcoma and control tissues in the Fanc-F staining levels. 17.4% of the Sarcoma tissues were stained positive to Fanc-F and 4.8% of the control tissues. Analyzing the correlation of the genes staining score to the survival rate, showed higher levels of Tuftelin (OR=1.605), and Fanc-F (OR=1.903) but lower levels of Heparanase (OR=0.948) among dead patients in compare with living patients. Nevertheless, due the small sample size, these effects were not significant.


These results highlight the importance of the three biomarkers analyzed in this research, especially Tuftelin and Fanc-F and possibly therapeutic targets for developing new drugs for head and neck sarcoma patients. However, more studies are needed. Future studies may include mice models of sarcoma and collecting fresh human biopsies of similar Sarcoma subtypes.