Author(s): Hyry V
The prognosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue is poor and it would be beneficial to find prognostic markers to better adjust treatment. Bmi-1 controls cell cycle and self-renewal of tissue stem cells, transcription factor c-myc affects cell proliferation and apoptosis, and Snail regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition. The expression of these markers has been connected to prognosis in many cancer types.
Bmi-1, c-myc, and Snail expressions were studied in our material consisting of 73 primarily T1N0M0 oral tongue carcinoma patients. We compared the immunoexpressions of Bmi-1, c-myc, and Snail with clinical parameters including the degree of histological differentiation, tumour size, TNM classification, depth of invasion, and resection margins. In addition, survival analyses were performed, comparing disease-free survival time with the registered protein expression of the markers mentioned above.
A significant correlation between Bmi-1 protein expression and recurrence (log-rank test, P=0.005) was detected. Snail and c-myc expression did not correlate with prognosis. Snail expression correlated with histopathological grade (Fisher's exact test, P=0.007) and with the invasion depth of tumours (chi(2)-test, P=0.037).
Negative Bmi-1 immunoexpression might serve as a marker of poor prognosis in oral tongue carcinoma patients.