Feline oral squamous cell carcinoma (FOSCC) is a cancer of the squamous cell lining in the oral cavity and represents up to 80% of all oral cancers in cats, with a poor prognosis. We have used whole exome sequencing (WES) and RNA sequencing of the tumor to discover somatic mutations and gene expression changes that may be associated with FOSCC occurrence. FOSCC offers a potential comparative model to study human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) due to its similar spontaneous formation, and morphological and histological features. In this first study using WES to identify somatic mutations in feline cancer, we have identified tumor-associated gene mutations in six cats with FOSCC and found some overlap with identified recurrently mutated genes observed in HNSCC. Four samples each had mutations in TP53, a common mutation in all cancers, but each was unique. Mutations in other cellular growth control genes were also found such as KAT2B and ARID1A. Enrichment analysis of FOSCC gene expression profiles suggests a molecular similarity to human OSCC as well, including alterations in epithelial to mesenchymal transition and IL6/JAK/STAT pathways. In this preliminary study, we present exome and transcriptome results that further our understanding of FOSCC.
- feline oral squamous cell carcinoma
- human head and neck cancer
- variant calling comparisons
- whole exome sequencing