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Oral Dis. 2008 May;14(4):376-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-0825.2007.01395.x.

Fatty acid synthase expression in squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue: clinicopathological findings.

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Department of Oral Diagnosis, School of Dentistry of Piracicaba, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), São Paulo, Brazil.



Overexpression of fatty acid synthase (FAS), the cytosolic enzyme responsible for the conversion of dietary carbohydrates to fatty acids, has been reported in several human malignancies and pointed as a potential prognostic marker for some tumors. This study investigated whether FAS immunohistochemical expression is correlated with the clinicopathological characteristics of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).


The clinical features of 102 patients with OSCC of the tongue treated in a single institution were obtained from the medical records and all histopathological diagnoses were reviewed. The expression of FAS was determined by the standard immunoperoxidase technique in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded specimens and correlated with the clinicopathological characteristics of the tumors.


Eighty-one cases (79.41%) were positive for FAS. Microscopic characteristics such as histological grade (P < 0.05), lymphatic permeation (P < 0.001), perineural infiltration (P < 0.05), and nodal metastasis (P < 0.02) were associated with FAS status. A significantly lower survival probability for patients with advanced clinical stage (log-rank test, P < 0.001), lymph nodes metastasis (log-rank test, P < 0.001), presence of vascular permeation (log-rank test, P = 0.05), and perineural invasion (log-rank test, P = 0.01) was observed in the studied samples.


The expression of FAS in OSCC of the tongue is associated with the microscopic characteristics that determine disease progression and prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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