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Honors research poster.

Introduction: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is approximately 4% of all cancers and 2% of all cancer associated mortality in the United States. In 2023, there will be an estimated 67,000 new cases of HNSCC, along with 15,400 deaths, in the United States. HNSCC locations include the oral cavity, oropharynx, nasopharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx. Major risk factors for HNSCC include tobacco use, alcohol use, and human papilloma virus (HPV). Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is currently the only approved molecular targeted therapy for HNSCC. Therefore, new therapeutics and biomarkers for HNSCC are warranted. Mitochondria are cytoplasmic organelles that are a major source of ATP through oxidative phosphorylation. Respiratory complex alterations reprogram metabolism and promote oncogenesis. Understanding respiratory complex alterations could provide insight for new therapeutic and biomarker development. NDUFAB1 is a nuclear-encoded protein of respiratory complex I (NADH dehydrogenase) in the electron transport chain. Previous studies have shown increased expression of NDUFAB1 in HNSCC compared to normal tissues. Previous studies also found abundant NDUFAB1 expression to be associated with clinical stage, tumor grade, HPV status, lymph node metastasis, and lower rates of survival.

Hypothesis: NDUFAB1 is abundantly expressed in HNSCC and predicts poor prognosis of these patients.

Specific Aim 1: Determine and compare NDUFAB1 protein expression in human head and neck cancer tissues to normal tissues by immunohistochemistry.

Specific Aim 2: Examine the clinico-pathological correlation of NDUFAB1 expression in predicting HNSCC outcome. This is accomplished by comparing data outcome from aim 1 with patients’ clinical stage, histological grade, sex, age, and survival.

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Digestive, Oral, and Skin Physiology | Diseases | Medical Cell Biology | Medical Genetics | Medical Sciences | Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Neoplasms | Oncology

Examining NDUFAB1 Expression in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma