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Cancer. 1999 Feb 15;85(4):757-62.

Immunohistochemical study of the expression of human chorionic gonadotropin-beta in oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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Department of Oral Surgery, Medicine, and Pathology, Indiana University School of Dentistry, Indianapolis, USA.



Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a glycoprotein hormone comprised of two dissimilar subunits (alpha and beta) and normally is synthesized by trophoblastic tissue. Although hCG expression has been identified in a variety of neoplastic tissues, to the authors' knowledge no investigation has centered on tumors of oral origin.


Oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) were studied in comparison with oral fibromas for the presence of hCGbeta using the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex immunohistochemical technique.


hCGbeta immunoreactivity was identified in 29 of 45 OSCC (64%). The positively staining cells in each tumor specimen were few (range, 0.5-5%) and were scattered throughout the tumor. When tumors were classified according to grade, it was found that hCGbeta staining was positive in 5 of 15 well differentiated OSCC (33%), in 12 of 15 moderately differentiated OSCC (80%), and in 12 of 15 moderately to poorly differentiated OSCC (80%). hCGbeta immunoreactivity could not be demonstrated in any of the oral fibromas.


The presence of hCGbeta positive tumor cells appears potentially to reflect a malignant behavior of OSCC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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