NOROC- a national multi-center study to improve treatment of oral cancer patients

Most oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. They vary in aggressiveness and response to treatment, but we lack reliable markers that predict the course of individual tumors. Therefore, most patients undergo more or less the same treatment, including surgery and radiation therapy. Radiation therapy causes severe side effects including reduced saliva production, periodontitis, pain and reduced oral health with loss of teeth. There are no national guidelines for oral and dental follow-up of these patients, and they may therefor suffer from unnecessary side effects and reduced quality of life.

The Norwegian Oral Cancer (NOROC) study is a national, multicenter study involving clinicians and scientists at the four oral cancer centers in Norway. It includes prospective clinical studies, retrospective studies taking advantage of diagnostic/clinical databases, questionnaires to former head- and neck cancer patients, use of information from research databases from population based studies and national registers, and biological material from research- and diagnostic biobanks.

The primary objective of the study is to provide evidence based knowledge that can be used to establish national guidelines to improve diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with oral squamous cell carcinomas. The NOROC study is based on a multi-disciplinary approach and covers aspects of etiology, diagnostics, treatment, as well as rehabilitation of patients with oral cancer as described below.

 

Prognostic markers in oral cancer

In this sub study, we aim at identifying and validating prognostic markers. From a cohort of around 600 patients, treated for oral cancer in the period 2005-2010, both detailed clinical information and tumor tissue is available for analysis. The tumor tissue is analyzed by immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, flow cytometry, DNA sequencing and proteomic analysis. The study adhere to the REMARK guidelines for prognostic marker studies.  The over-all aim is to find a panel of biomarkers that along with the TNM classification can give a reliable prediction of the aggressiveness and treatment response of individual tumors. This may allow more personalized treatment of oral cancer patients and also identify new treatment strategies.   

 

For more information, please contact: Lars Uhlin-Hansen: lars.uhlin-hansen@uit.no


Ansvarlig for prosjektet: Zvonko Mitrovic

Head of Project:

Lars Uhlin-Hansen