2011 Volume 15 Issue 4 Pages 107-112
Background: CD44, a family of alternatively spliced transmembrane cell adhesion molecules, is expressed in many types of tumors, including oral squamous cell carcinoma. CD44 variant 3 and 6 (CD44v3 and CD44v6) expression in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma has been suggested to correlate with a poor prognosis. We investigated the relationship between CD44 variant forms and clinicopathological parameters in oral squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue (OSCCT). Methods: Immunohistochemical analysis of 60 cases of OSCCT was performed to investigate the relationship of CD44v3 and CD44v6 expression with clinicopathological parameters and clinical outcome. Results: Significant correlations were present between CD44v3 expression and clinicopathological parameters, such as mode of invasion (P<0.0001), differentiation type (P<0.0001), local recurrence (P<0.05), and secondary metastasis to lymph nodes (P<0.05). Loss of staining of CD44v3 also significantly correlated with a poor prognosis (P<0.001). On the other hand, CD44v6 expression showed no correlation with clinicopathological parameters. Conclusion: CD44v3 may be useful as a diagnostic/prognostic biomarker of OSCCT because low CD44v3 immunoreactivity is associated with high invasive potential and poor prognosis.