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PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50710. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050710. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

Fascin-1, ezrin and paxillin contribute to the malignant progression and are predictors of clinical prognosis in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, No. 1 Hospital, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China.



Fascin-1, ezrin and paxillin, cytoskeleton-associated proteins, have been implicated in several human cancers, but their role in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) is unknown. We investigated the association of their expression and clinicopathologic factors and their prognostic value in LSCC.


Quantitative RT-PCR and western blot analyses were used to examine mRNA and protein levels in 10 fresh LSCC specimens and 10 corresponding adjacent normal margin (ANM) tissues from patients undergoing surgery in 2012. We used immunohistochemistry to retrospectively study 216 paraffin blocks of LSCC samples from patients (193 men) who had undergone surgery between 2000 and 2006 and had not received special treatment before the diagnosis. Univariate analysis of patient survival involved the Kaplan-Meier method. Multivariate analyses involved the Cox proportional hazards model.


The relative mRNA and protein levels of fascin-1, ezrin and paxillin were significantly greater in LSCC than ANM tissue (P<0.05). The high expression of fascin-1, ezrin or paxillin was positively correlated with poor tumor differentiation, cervical lymph node metastasis (N+), and advanced clinical stage (III+IV) (P<0.05) but not sex or metastasis. In addition, a high expression of fascin-1 (P = 0.007) or ezrin (P = 0.047) was associated with advanced tumor stage (T3+T4). The expression of fascin-1 was higher in smokers than non-smokers (P = 0.019). A high expression of fascin-1, ezrin or paxillin was associated with poor prognosis.


Fascin-1, ezrin and paxillin may be prognostic of poor outcome with LSCC after surgery. Our study may lead to establishing new molecular therapeutic targets and/or prognostic biomarkers in LSCC.

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