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Head- and neck cancer

Research group Studies of squamous cell carcinoma of the mobile tongue using tissue, blood and artificial intelligence

Squamous cell carcinoma of the mobile tongue, SCCOT, is a serious disease affecting an increasing number of people in the World, particularly young (in most studies defined as ≤40 years), and with an overrepresentation of women. Treatment today is basically the same for all patients irrespective of the fact that different tumours show different characteristics.

Our overall aim is to increase the understanding of this specific tumour type to enable the possibility of individualised treatment and follow up of patients. Our aims can be summarized as follows:


1. To understand why the number of cases of SCCOT increases, particularly among young people.

We have found that young people with poor prognosis show genetic changes in their SCCOT tumours which are more common in tumours in old SCCOT patients. This finding is now being studied in a larger group of patients with SCCOT.

2. To establish a ”panel of changes” in clinically tumour free tissue opposite the SCCOT, for diagnostic and prognostic use.

Study the diagnostic/prognostic importance of different proteins in clinically tumour free tongue.

3. To study the use of serum in diagnosis and follow up of patients with SCCOT.

Study the possibility to measure and follow levels of different proteins in blood to gain important information on diagnosis and prognosis.

4. To establish a model by the use of artificial intelligence to predict early relapse in patients treated for SCCOT.

Head of research

Karin Nylander
Professor, senior consultant dentist


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Medical Biosciences

Research area