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World J Surg Oncol. 2013 Nov 19;11:294. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-11-294.

Expression of hypoxia-related markers in inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors of the head and neck.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, The First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310003, China. zhouyunzhoush@163.com.



The etiology of inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs) is controversial and the prognosis is unpredictable. Previous studies have not investigated the expression of hypoxia-related markers in IMTs.


Between 2002 and 2012, 12 consecutive patients with histologically proven IMTs were enrolled in the study. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect GLUT-1, HIF-1α, PI3K, and p-Akt expression in paraffin-embedded tumor specimens. Associations among GLUT-1, HIF-1α, PI3K, and p-Akt protein expression and clinical parameters were investigated.


The mean duration of follow-up was 52.1 months (range, 11 to 132 months). Six patients had local recurrence. GLUT-1, HIF-1α, PI3K, and p-Akt expression were detected in 41.7%, 50.0%, 33.3%, and 41.7% of patients, respectively. Fisher's exact test revealed significant correlations between recurrence of IMT and PI3K expression (P = 0.01) and p-Akt expression (P = 0.015). Univariate analyses revealed significant correlations between survival and GLUT-1 expression (P = 0.028), PI3K expression (P = 0.006), and p-Akt expression (P = 0.028). Multivariate analysis did not show a significant relationship between survival and GLUT-1, HIF-1α, PI3K, or p-Akt. Spearman rank correlation analysis showed significant correlations between HIF-1α and PI3K expression (r = 0.707, P = 0.01) and between p-Akt and PI3K expression (r = 0.837, P = 0.001).


Although our results are inconclusive owing to the small sample size, they suggest that PI3K and p-Akt expression may play a role in the recurrence of IMTs of the head and neck.

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