Background Targeted sequencing of patients with epidemiologically low-risk (ELR) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) could help identify novel drivers or lost suppressors leading to precision medicine protocols and improved survival rates. Methods A patient with ELR-HNSCC was selected for targeted sequencing. We then assessed next generation sequencing cohorts from the Oncomine Powertool Database, which contains pan-cancer data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Results Targeted sequencing revealed fibroblast growth factor receptor-1 (FGFR1) amplifications as a putative driver of the patient's tumor. Patients with HNSCC from TCGA data demonstrated fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family mutations, rearrangements, or amplifications in over 35% of HNSCC cases, with a statistically significant higher frequency in African American populations. FGF alterations were unique from activating phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PIK3CA) mutations. Conclusion Together, these data suggest that FGF signaling may be critical for a subset of patients with HNSCC independent of other known pathways and provides rationale for leveraging patients with ELR-HNSCC to define molecular subsets of high-risk HNSCC.
- fibroblast growth factor (FGF)
- fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR)
- head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)
ASJC Scopus subject areas