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Oral Oncol. 2007 Sep;43(8):796-803. Epub 2007 Jan 4.

Overexpression of GLUT-1 is associated with resistance to radiotherapy and adverse prognosis in squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Mainz, Medical Center, Augustusplatz 2, 55131 Mainz, Germany.


This study tested the hypothesis that GLUT-1 is a marker of radioresistance in oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC). A GLUT-1 labeling index (LI) was determined by immunohistochemistry in 40 pretreatment OSCC biopsies. Radiation responses were categorized by histopathology of the resection specimens. Associations between the LI and radiation response, Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and Cox regression analysis for the variables GLUT-1, T-stage, N-stage and chemotherapy were examined. The median LI was 64.2% (range 14-100%). Tumors with >65% of GLUT-1+cells were more resistant to radiation (p=0.023). Overall survival was higher (p=0.044) for subjects with low LI (<median value) than those with high LI (>median value). The Cox regression analysis confirmed the prognostic significance of GLUT-1. Our results indicate that pre-treatment GLUT-1 expression in the tumor is a marker of radioresistance in OSCC, with high expression being associated with poor radiation response and shorter survival.

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