Decreased mitochondrial DNA content in posttreatment salivary rinses from head and neck cancer patients

Wei Wen Jiang, Eli Rosenbaum, Elizabeth Mambo, Marianna Zahurak, Brett Masayesva, Andre Lopes Carvalho, Shaoyu Zhou, William H. Westra, Anthony J. Alberg, David Sidransky, Wayne Koch, Joseph A. Califano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Purpose and Experimental Design: Alterations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence and content have been described in human tissues and tumors in association with smoking exposure. We did quantitative PCR analysis of cytochrome c oxidase (Cox) I and Cox II genes to measure changes in mtDNA content in pretreatment and posttreatment salivary rinses obtained from 76 patients undergoing surgical resection for primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. We also examined the relationship between changes in mtDNA content and postoperative radiation therapy, smoking exposure, alcohol intake, and other clinical characteristics. Results: Overall, mtDNA content in posttreatment saliva was significantly decreased. The mean change for Cox I was -0.21 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), -0.44 to 0.01, P = 0.06] and for Cox II was -0.31 (95% CI, -0.55 to -0.08, P = 0.01). Patients in the radiation therapy group exhibited a significant decrease compared with the nonradiated group (P = 0.03 for Cox I; P = 0.05 for Cox II). In addition, significant decreases in Cox I (-0.71; 95% CI, -1.17 to -0.25, P = 0.005) and Cox II (-0.65; 95% CI, -1.17 to -0.13, P = 0.02) were found in never-smoking patients but not in former or current smokers. Conclusion: Our data suggest that salivary mtDNA content is decreased in never smokers and in response to radiation therapy after primary surgical resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1564-1569
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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