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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2004 Oct;113(10):821-7.

Cytokeratin-17 as a potential marker for squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Carmel Medical Center, Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.


To assess cytokeratin-17 (CK17) as an immunohistochemical marker for squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx, we stained 63 tissue samples from 63 consecutive patients who were believed or suspected to have squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx for CK17 and analyzed them by computerized histomorphometry. The mean staining intensity for CK17 was significantly stronger (p < .01) in cancerous cells, dysplasia, and normal epithelium proximal to the tumor than in distal normal epithelium and polyps. The percentage of stained area, within samples taken from a single patient, was significantly higher in malignancy and dysplasia as compared to distal normal epithelium and in malignancy as compared to dysplasia and proximal normal epithelium (p < .001). The integrated optical density was significantly higher in the malignant epithelium, dysplasia, polyps, and proximal normal epithelium than in distal normal epithelium (p < .0001). We conclude that CK17 is a highly sensitive and specific immunohistochemical marker for premalignant and malignant transformation in the larynx. Further investigation is warranted in order to assess the role of CK17 in determining safe resection borders.

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