Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Hiroshi Miyazaki

Second Advisor

Zendra Zehner

Third Advisor

Sumitra Deb


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most common malignancy worldwide. The 5-year survival rate when the cancer remains as a primary tumor is 81% but when it metastasizes to distant sites, defined as a metastatic cancer, it decreases dramatically to 26%. Approaches to prevent these cancers from undergoing these metastatic changes can greatly improve the survival and outcome of these cancer victims. This current study is examining the expression profiles of chemokines and VEGFs in HNSCC. By investigation the underlying pathways involved in the expressions of chemokines and VEGFS we hope to sort out the transcriptional regulation of these molecules. We used pharmological inhibitors of several important kinase pathways and the receptors involved in the transcription of chemokines and VEGFs. This study specifically looked at the proangiogenetic chemokines, CXCL5 and CXCL8, and their receptor CXCR2, and their possible impact on VEGFs, specifically VEGF-C and VEGF-A. From experimentation we concluded that HNSCC uses the MAPK pathway for regulation of the chemokines CXCL5 and CXCL8, but not for its downregulation. VEGF-A showed to be positively controlled by the MAPK pathway. The Akt pathway was found to downregulate VEGF-C, possibly from CXCR2. VEGF-C was not under control of the chemokines’ expression, VEGF-C and VEGF-A were also differentially regulated. The current study has begun to sort out the expression and regulation of chemokines and VEGFs in HNSCC. There are still many unanswered questions about the role these molecules play in HNSCC, but hopefully these conclusions will aid in finding improved treatments for patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2009