Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a frequently fatal disease due, in large part, to a high rate of second primary tumor (SPT) formation. The 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4-NQO) mouse model of oral carcinogenesis provides a robust system in which to study chemopreventive agents in the context of chemically induced HNSCC tumors. STAT3 is a potent oncogene that is hyperactivated by tyrosine phosphorylation early in HNSCC carcinogenesis and is a rational therapeutic target. We recently reported that loss-of-function of the STAT3 phosphatase PTPRT promotes STAT3 activation in HNSCC tumors and preclinical models and may serve as a predictive biomarker of response to STAT3 inhibitors, including the small-molecule Stattic. We therefore investigated the hypothesis that Ptprt-knockout (KO) mice would be more susceptible to 4-NQO–induced oral carcinogenesis and more sensitive to Stattic-mediated chemoprevention compared with wild-type (WT) mice. Herein, we demonstrate that Ptprt WT and KO mice develop similar spectra of HNSCC disease severity upon 12 weeks of 4-NQO administration, with no apparent effect of Ptprt genotype on carcinogenesis or treatment outcome. Targeting of STAT3 with Stattic resulted in a chemopreventive effect against 4-NQO–induced oral cancer (P = 0.0402). While these results do not support a central role for PTPRT in 4-NQO–induced HNSCC carcinogenesis, further investigation of STAT3 as a chemoprevention target in this cancer is warranted. Cancer Prev Res; 9(8); 657–63. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Prevention Research Online (http://cancerprevres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received April 8, 2016.
- Revision received May 11, 2016.
- Accepted May 31, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.