N-cadherin and hyaluronan expression in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, relation to patient outcomes

Heba A. El Hendawy, Afaf Ibrahiem, El-Nagdy SY, Zedan W


Background: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is regarded as an essential step for tumor invasion and metastasis. In squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (HNSCC), N-Cadherin expression and its involvement in tumor progression remains a controversial topic.

Aim of the study: The present study aimed to assess the expression of N-cadherin and HA in HNSCC and further study their relation to patients survival and outcomes.

Material and methods: Fifty-eight retrospective selected cases of head and neck squamous carcinomas (HNSCCs) with available paraffin blocks. Complete clinico-pathological and follow-up data were recorded. Immune staining for N-cadherin and hyaluronan were done, also, we study the correlation of the results with patients survival data.

Results: Squamous cell carcinoma islands demonstrated high N-cadherin expression in 55.2% and low expression in 44.8%. N-cadherin high expression was significantly (p < .05) associated with large tumor sizes, advanced TNM clinical stage, increased incidence of recurrence and patient’s death. A significant correlation was recorded between the presence of neural invasion and N-cadherin expression (p = .004). Strong intensity of stromal HA was significantly (p < .05) associated with an oral site, nodal metastasis, and higher TNM stage. Patients with high N-cadherin expression, diffuse hyaluronan, and strong stromal hyaluronan
reaction had significantly lower DFS rates (p < .05). High N-cadherin expression, diffuse hyaluronan immunoreactivity, and strong stromal hyaluronan reaction intensity had significantly lower OS rates (p < .05).

Conclusion: N-cadherin and hyaluronan could be important and promising biomarkers during surveillance of patients with HNSCC.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jst.v8n1p19

Journal of Solid Tumors

ISSN 1925-4067(Print)   ISSN 1925-4075(Online)

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