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Science 333 (6046): 1102-1103

Copyright © 2011 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Another NOTCH for Cancer

Ruud H. Brakenhoff

Squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCCs) that arise in the mucosal linings of the upper respiratory and digestive tracts are the sixth leading cancer by incidence worldwide, with ~600,000 new cases each year (1). The most important risk factors for these cancers are tobacco use and alcohol consumption, while a subgroup is caused by infection with human papillomaviruses that also cause cervical cancer (2). Patients with early-stage disease are treated by either surgery or radiotherapy, whereas patients in advanced stages receive a combination of these modalities or concurrent chemotherapy and localized radiation. Only 40 to 50% of patients will survive for 5 years after treatment (2). Antibodies directed against the epidermal growth factor receptor have been the only recent new therapy for this life-threatening disease (3). Two papers in this issue—by Agrawal et al. (4) on page 1154 and Stransky et al. (5) on page 1157—provide new insight into the genetic changes causing HNSCC that may guide the development of alternative treatment strategies.

Department of Otolaryngology/Head-Neck Surgery, VU University Medical Center, 1007 MB Amsterdam, Netherlands.

E-mail: rh.brakenhoff{at}

Harnessing Massively Parallel Sequencing in Personalized Head and Neck Oncology.
M. Jessri and C. S. Farah (2014)
Journal of Dental Research 93, 437-444
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Impairing squamous differentiation by Klf4 deletion is sufficient to initiate tongue carcinoma development upon K-Ras activation in mice.
M. Abrigo, R. Alvarez, M. L. Paparella, D. E. Calb, E. Bal de Kier Joffe, J. S. Gutkind, and A. R. Raimondi (2014)
Carcinogenesis 35, 662-669
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
A Protein (ORF2) Encoded by the Latency-Related Gene of Bovine Herpesvirus 1 Interacts with DNA.
D. Pittayakhajonwut, D. Sinani, and C. Jones (2013)
J. Virol. 87, 5493-5501
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
A Bovine Herpesvirus 1 Protein Expressed in Latently Infected Neurons (ORF2) Promotes Neurite Sprouting in the Presence of Activated Notch1 or Notch3.
D. Sinani, L. Frizzo da Silva, and C. Jones (2013)
J. Virol. 87, 1183-1192
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

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