Identification of antineoplastic agents for oral squamous cell carcinoma: an integrated bioinformatics approach using differential gene expression and network biology


Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common malignant epithelial neoplasm and anatomical subtype of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with an average 5-year survival rate of less than 50%. To improve the survival rate of OSCC, the discovery of novel anti-cancer drugs is urgently needed. In the present study, we performed metanalysis of 5 gene expression datasets (GSE23558, GSE25099, GSE30784, GSE37991 and TCGA-OSCC) that resulted in 1851 statistically significant DEGs in OSCC. The DEGs were involved in key biological pathways that drive the progression of OSCC. A comprehensive protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed from the DEGs and the top protein clusters (modules) were extracted in Cytoscape. The DEGs from the top modules were searched for antineoplastic agents using L1000CDS2 server. The search resulted in a total of 37 perturbing agents from which 12 well-characterized antineoplastic agents were selected. The selected 12 antineoplastic agents namely Teniposide, Palbociclib, Etoposide, Fedratinib, Tivozanib, Afatinib, Vemurafenib, Mitoxantrone, Idamycin, Canertinib, Dovitinib and Selumetinib. These drugs showed interactions with the over expressed hub genes that regulate cellular proliferation and growth in OSCC progression. These identified antineoplastic agents are candidates for their potential role in treating OSCC.

Competing Interest Statement

The authors have declared no competing interest.

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