Salivary gland malignancies represent only 1-2% of all head and neck malignancies in the United States. Their behavior can be quite variable, and treatment usually involves surgery and radiation therapy. Because not much is known about the molecular mechanisms of these unusual tumors, chemotherapy and other targeted therapies have not been shown to be effective. As part of this collaborative proposal, our aim is to evaluate the role of promoter methylation as a means of tumor suppressor gene silencing using new microarray technology. We intend to use the Illumina Human Methylation27 array which is able to sample the methylation status of over 14,000 genes. We can then validate the identified targets and go on to perform further mechanistic studies of their biologic relevance in these malignancies. Performing this comprehensive analysis will allow us to determine the effect of epigenetic silencing on the carcinogenesis of salivary gland cancers.
The goal of this grant is to help identify the significance of methyaltion in salivary gland cancers with the hopes of providing either therapeutic targets or markers for disease that can be used for prognosis or screening.
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