Distinct genetic aberrations in oesophageal adeno and squamous carcinoma




The two main oesophageal cancer subtypes namely adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma exhibit interesting clinical, pathological and geographical variations with the former being more common in the West and the latter in Asia.

Materials and methods

We evaluated status of p53, EGFR, Wnt and HPV in addition to microsatellite instability and loss of heterozygosity of several chromosomal loci in the two oesophageal cancer subtypes from India. The comparative analysis was extended to two oesophageal adenosquamous mixed cancer samples.


Our results reveal a high frequency of EGFR overexpression in ESCC as against EAC, while Wnt activation was a significantly more common event in EAC as against ESCC. Frequencies of p53 perturbations were not significantly different in the two subtypes. Interestingly, the EGFR and Wnt status in adenocarcinoma and squamous components of the two oesophageal adenosquamous cancer samples were identical to primary tumours. In addition, no common molecular aberration (including instability and loss of heterozygosity) in several microsatellites was detected in DNA isolated from the two components in both adenosquamous cancer samples.


Our results reveal the presence of distinct aberrations in oesophageal adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma which are replicated in the respective components of adenosquamous cancers. The study therefore suggests perhaps an independent origin of the two components of oesophageal adenosquamous mixed cancer.