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This study aims to investigate putative cancer stem cells (CSC) immunophenotypes and the associated effects of matrix
metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) immunoexpression in early stage oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) to assess their
influences on tumor prognosis. The following data were derived from 150 patients: age, gender, primary anatomic site, smoking
status, alcohol intake, recurrence, metastases, histological classification, treatment, disease-free survival (DFS), and overall
survival (OS). Immunohistochemical study of CD44, CD133, and MMP-9 expression was performed on a tissue microarray
of 150 paraffin blocks of OSCCs. The predominant CSC immunophenotype identified to exhibit a significant correlation with
MMP-9 was the CD44+⁄ CD133+. Multivariate analyses identified a significant correlation of OS with surgical treatment and with
CD44+/CD133+ immunophenotype. This investigation demonstrated the prognostic importance of CD44/CD133 expression,
which can help improve the prognostic value of surgical treatment for OSCCs when diagnosed in early stages.
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