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Acta Otolaryngol. 2006 Feb;126(2):197-203.

High nuclear expression of the apoptosis inhibitor protein survivin is associated with disease recurrence and poor prognosis in laryngeal basaloid squamous cell carcinoma.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.



Nuclear expression of survivin should be studied as a promising marker of higher-risk laryngeal basaloid squamous cell carcinomas (BSCCs), which can then be treated more aggressively and followed more closely.


BSCC is an uncommon bimorphic variant of SCC. The hypothesized greater aggressiveness and poorer prognosis of head and neck BSCC compared to SCC are still under debate. The regulation of apoptotic cell death has a profound effect on the pathogenesis and progression of malignancies. Survivin is the smallest member of the inhibitor of apoptosis gene family. The aim of this study was to investigate for the first time the expression of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein survivin in laryngeal BSCCs and their neck lymph node metastases and to compare the results with those obtained with conventional SCCs.


Immunoreactivity to survivin was determined in nine laryngeal BSCCs and nine site- and stage-matched SCCs.


A nuclear subcellular localization of survivin dominated in both primary laryngeal BSCCs and SCCs and in their lymph node metastases. There was no significant difference in mean survivin expression between primary laryngeal BSCCs (25.1%) and SCCs (25.6%) (p=0.86). Nuclear survivin expression was significantly higher in BSCCs associated with disease recurrence and poor prognosis (p=0.02).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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