Cancers of the head and neck including oral cancer are among the 10 most common cancers in the US. It is estimated that 42,440 new oral cancer cases are diagnosed in 2014. Current detection techniques often diagnose head and neck cancer as well as esophageal cancer in late stages, requiring wide local resection and radiation therapy, from which patients suffer severe disfiguration. In addition, due to limitations in early diagnostics and treatment, the 5-year survival has remained virtually unchanged over the last 30 years. The use of tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco, is a major risk factor together with alcohol consumption for esophageal and head and neck cancers. EndFragment
The research interest in the Andl lab is to identify novel prognostic biomarkers and to target the signaling pathways that drive cell invasion and metastasis with focus on the tumor microenvironment.