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J Oral Pathol Med. 2002 Sep;31(8):450-7.

Deranged expression of the E-cadherin/beta-catenin complex and the epidermal growth factor receptor in the clinical evolution and progression of oral squamous cell carcinomas.

Author information

1
Domagk Institute of Pathology, University of Münster, Germany. bankfal@uni-muenster.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Deranged expression and function of the E-cadherin/beta-catenin (E-cad/beta-cat) complex and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have been implicated in the development and progression of carcinomas.

METHODS:

To estimate the role of these molecules in oral cancer, we investigated 75 primary oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) with adjacent normal and/or dysplastic mucosa, 30 paired metastases and 12 recurrences by immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS:

All three molecules were constitutionally expressed in the basal/parabasal layers of tumour adjacent 'normal' epithelium, in contrast to a significant increase of EGFR and heterogeneous expression of E-cad/beta-cat in dysplasia. In OSCCs, over-expression of EGFR correlated significantly with lower tumour grade and poor prognosis, loss of E-cad was a significant marker for shortened survival, reduced beta-cat staining was a predictive marker for lymph node metastasis.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is a perturbance in intercellular adhesion molecules and EGFR expression/function in oral cancer with major clinical impact. E-cad and beta-cat seem to inhibit EGFR to enhance the progression of OSCCs.

PMID:
12220351
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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