, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 99-102
Date: 26 Feb 2008

Molecular Diagnosis in Head and Neck: What a Surgical Pathologist Must Know

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Molecular alterations in tumors have become interesting targets both for diagnostic and for therapeutic and prognostic applications in tumor pathology. In the head and neck, there are a variety of different alterations, encompassing all the different types of genetic events associated with carcinogenesis. This paper reviews three different types of tumors that display a spectrum of genetic alterations: the translocation in Mucoepidermoid carcinoma, Epstein Barr virus association in nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and the HRPT2 tumor suppressor gene in parathyroid carcinoma. Basic histology is reviewed and the genetic alterations are discussed, along with a brief discussion of potential diagnostic implications.