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Oral Oncol. 2002 Sep;38(6):584-90.

Thymidine phosphorylase expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, 2630-Sugitani, Toyama, Japan.


Thymidine phosphorylase (TP), as an enzyme involved in DNA synthesis, catalyzes the reversible conversion of thymidine to thymine. It is also identical to the angiogenic factor, platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor. We examined TP expression using immunohistochemistry in 66 archival samples obtained from the patients with primary oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and investigated its relation to tumor vascularity, cell proliferation, apoptosis, clinicopathological features and survival. TP expression was identified in cytonucleus and/or cytoplasm in carcinomas, but was not identified in histologically normal epithelia distant to tumor in most cases. No significant difference of microvessel density (MVD) was found between the carcinomas with high TP expression (H-TP) and low TP expression (L-TP). The percentages of proliferative cells marked by Ki-67 staining in H-TP carcinomas was significantly higher than that in L-TP carcinomas (P=0.0222). The apoptotic indice (AI) in H-TP carcinomas tended to be lower than that in L-TP carcinomas (P=0.0723). Moreover, the level of TP expression was significantly correlated the pattern of tumor invasion (P=0.0146) and marginally correlated with lymph nodal metastasis (P=0.0804). Our results suggested that TP enzyme may play a role in promotion of tumor growth in oral SCC, and that its expression can be indicative of tumor aggressiveness in this tumor type.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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