HNdb: An Integrated Database Of Gene And Protein Information On Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Tiago HENRIQUE, School of Medicine of São José do Rio Preto, Brazil
SILVEIRA N. 2 , VOLPATO A. 1 , MATARUCO M. 3 , STEFANINI A. 1 , LÓPEZ R. 4 , NUNES F. 5 , KOWALSKI L. 6 , SEVERINO P. 7 , ELOIZA T. 1 , DA CUNHA B. 1

1 Department of Molecular Biology, School of Medicine of São José do Rio Preto, São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil
2 Institute of Exact Science, Federal University of Alfenas, MG, Brazil
3 Department of Dermatological, Infectious, and Parasitic Diseases, School of Medicine of São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil
4 State of São Paulo Cancer Institute – ICESP, SP, Brazil
5 Department of Stomatology, School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo, SP, Brazil
6 Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Otorhinolaryngology, Cancer Hospital A.C. Camargo, SP, Brazil
7 Albert Einstein Research and Education Institute, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, SP, Brazil

The total amount of scientific literature has grown rapidly in recent years. Specifically in the field of cancer, the number of citations is enormous. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to manually retrieve relevant information on the mechanisms that govern tumor behavior or the neoplastic process. Furthermore, cancer is a complex disease or, more accurately, a set of diseases. The heterogeneity that permeates many tumors is particularly evident in head and neck (HN) cancer, one of the most common types of cancer worldwide. In the present study, we present a head and neck squamous cell carcinoma database (HNdb) that provides a unified and comprehensive resource for information on the genes involved in this disease, including data on gene products and literature citations. Different literature searches of MEDLINE abstracts were performed using specific Medical Subject Headings (MeSH terms) for oral, oropharyngeal, hypopharyngeal and laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas. A curated gene-to-publication assignment yielded a total of 1,370 genes related to HN cancer. The diversity of results allowed identifying novel and mostly unexplored gene associations, revealing, for example, that processes linked to response to steroid hormone stimulus are significantly enriched in genes related to HN carcinomas. Thus, our database expands the possibilities for gene networks investigation, providing potential hypothesis to be tested.