Salivary-based cell-free mitochondrial DNA level is an independent prognostic biomarker for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Lana Sayal, Omar Hamadah, Aroub Almasri, Majdy Idrees, Issam Kassem, Wafa Habbal, Buthainah Alsalamah, Omar Kujan

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11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Changes in the copy numbers of cell-free nuclear DNA (cf-nDNA) and cell-free mitochondrial DNA (cf-mtDNA) have shown promising diagnostic utilities among patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Considering the absence of objective prognostic tools for HNSCC surveillance, this study aimed to assess the utility of saliva-based cf-nDNA and cf-mtDNA in predicting the overall survival of patients with HNSCC. The study included ninety-four patients with a confirmed HNSCC diagnosis with a mean follow-up time of 32.04 months (±19.1). A saliva-based liquid biopsy was collected from each patient. A multiplex quantitative PCR was used to determine the absolute number of cf-nDNA and cf-mtDNA. The Kaplan–Meier estimator and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to assess overall survival. The absolute copy numbers ofcf-nDNA and cf-mtDNA were statistically significantly higher among the deceased patients than among the censored ones (p < 0.05). Individuals with elevated levels of cf-nDNA or cf-mtDNA were associated with a significantly poorer overall survival (p ≤ 0.05). A univariate analysis showed that only the absolute copy number of cf-mtDNA was the sole predictor of overall survival. However, the multivariate analysis showed that all the absolute copy numbers of cf-nDNA, the absolute copy numbers of cf-mtDNA, and the stage of HNSCC were predictors of overall survival. Our study confirms that saliva is a reliable and non-invasive source of data that can be used to predict the overall survival of patients with HNSCC, where cf-mtDNA levels act as the sole predictor.
Original languageEnglish
Article number301
Pages (from-to)301
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023

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