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Oral Oncol. 2003 Jun;39(4):373-9.

CD44v6 in developing, dysplastic and malignant oral epithelia.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Lemminkäisenkatu 2, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland.


The CD44v6 adhesion molecule has been linked to progression of various carcinomas, but its role in relation to oral-cancer development is not clear. The study was designed to determine whether CD44v6 levels were clinically significant in oral dysplasias. Twenty-nine oral dysplasias were immunostained with CD44v6 antibody on follow-up. Developing normal epithelia and adult normal epithelia and oral carcinomas were stained for comparison. Oral dysplasias and carcinomas exhibited heterogenous staining patterns. No statistically significant correlation between CD44v6 expression and outcome was found for dysplasia patients. The results show that in developing and healthy oral mucosa CD44v6 is associated with epithelium-specific differentiation but in dysplasias and carcinomas it mirrors disorderly epithelial maturation. The results also suggest that determination of CD44v6 levels is not helpful in judging the likely clinical behaviour of oral dysplasia.

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