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PLoS One. 2010 Aug 16;5(8):e12178. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012178.

Analysis of death receptor 5 and caspase-8 expression in primary and metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and their prognostic impact.

Author information

1
Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine and Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

Abstract

Death receptor 5 (DR5) and caspase-8 are major components in the extrinsic apoptotic pathway. The alterations of the expression of these proteins during the metastasis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and their prognostic impact have not been reported. The present study analyzes the expression of DR5 and caspase-8 by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in primary and metastatic HNSCCs and their impact on patient survival. Tumor samples in this study included 100 primary HNSCC with no evidence of metastasis, 100 primary HNSCC with lymph node metastasis (LNM) and 100 matching LNM. IHC analysis revealed a significant loss or downregulation of DR5 expression in primary tumors with metastasis and their matching LNM compared to primary tumors with no evidence of metastasis. A similar trend was observed in caspase-8 expression although it was not statistically significant. Downregulation of caspase-8 and DR5 expression was significantly correlated with poorly differentiated tumors compared to moderately and well differentiated tumors. Univariate analysis indicates that, in HNSCC with no metastasis, higher expression of caspase-8 significantly correlated with better disease-free survival and overall survival. However, in HNSCC with LNM, higher caspase-8 expression significantly correlated with poorer disease-free survival and overall survival. Similar results were also generated when we combined both DR5 and caspase-8. Taken together, we suggest that both DR5 and caspase-8 are involved in regulation of HNSCC metastasis. Our findings warrant further investigation on the dual role of caspase-8 in cancer development.

PMID:
20808443
PMCID:
PMC2922336
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0012178
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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