New diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in head and neck cancer

Description of research

  1. Occurrence of fusion oncogene CRTC1-MAML2 in mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) is significant for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment decisions. We study CRTC1-MAML-2 as a prognostic and differential
    diagnostic biomarker for high-grade MEC. Mutation analysis is employed to identify new pathogenetic mechanisms, as well as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers.
  2. We have recently developed a risk assessment model for early T1-T2 tongue cancer, which has lacked prognostic biomarkers.The model is validated in an international multicenter study, and developed using artificial neural network technology. Other parameters studied include the tumour-stroma relationship, CAFanalysis, stem cell marker ALDH1, activin A, MMP-2 and Toll-like receptor 9.
  3. We have recently collected a whole-population based material of Finnish nasophangeal carcinomas, and it will be used to study pathogenesis, epidemiology and prognostic biomarkers of the Finnish non-endemic form of this cancer.

Members of the research group

Tuula Salo DDS, prof, senior researcher
Reidar Grénman MD, prof, senior researcher
Antti Mäkitie MD, prof, senior researcher
Göran Stenman DDS, prof, senior researcher
Kowan Jenni Jee PhD, medical geneticist, researcher
Fabricio Passador-Santos DDS, PhD,
Alhadi Almangush DDS, post-doctoral researcher
Miia Ruuskanen ML, specialist in otology
Eva-Maria Talvitie ML, doctoral candidate

Selected publications

Passador-Santos F, Grönroos M, Irish J, Gilbert R, Gullane P, Perez-Ordonez B, Mäkitie A. LEIVO I: Clinicopathological characteristics and cell cycle proteins as prognostic factors in myoepithelial carcinoma of salivary glands. Virchows Archiv 468:305-312, 2016. IF2015/16 = 2.615.

Almangush A, Karhunen M, Hautaniemi S, Salo T, LEIVO I: Prognostic value of tumour budding in oesophageal cancer. Histopathology 68:173-182, 2016. IF2015/16 = 3.425.

Heikinheimo K, Kurppa KJ, Laiho A, Peltonen S, Berdal A, Bouattour A, Ruhin B, Caton J, Thesleff I, LEIVO I, Morgan PR: Early dental epithelial transcription factors distinguish ameloblastoma from keratocystic odontogenic tumor. J Dent Res 94:101-111, 2014. IF 2015/16 = 4.602.

Almangush A, Salo T, Hagström J, LEIVO I: Tumor budding in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Histopathology 65:587-594, 2014. IF 2015/16 = 3.425.

Jee KJ Persson M, Heikinheimo K, Passador-Santos F, Aro K, Knuutila S, Odell EW, Mäkitie A, Sundelin K, Stenman G, LEIVO I: Genomic profiles and CRTC1-MAML2 fusion distinguish different subtypes of mucoepidermoid carcinoma. Mod Pathol 26:213-222, 2013. IF 2015/16 = 5.485.



 Professor Ilmo Leivo