Immunohistochemical Examination of E-Cadherin in the Head and Neck Squamocellular Carcinomas


E-cadherin is present in the epithelial cells and its aberrant expression is correlated with different kinds of head and neck squamocellular carcinomas. The purpose of the present study was to identify the expression particularities of analyzed E-cadherin in rapport with the localization and the differentiation of various head and neck squamocellular carcinomas. 18 biopsy fragments obtained by squamocellular carcinoma patients (larynx, pharynx, hard palate, tongue, submandibular, lip, gingival sulcus, nasal pyramid, maxillary, zygomatic) were processed by immunohistochemical staining. Immunoreactions for E-cadherin in the tumoral cells were examined according to the score: 0 (0% positive cells of specimen); 1 (<10% positive cells of specimen); 2 (10% - 30% of specimen); 3 (>30% of specimen). The immunohistochemical staining indicated the presence of 12 cases of well-differentiated squamocellular carcinoma (7 cases with score 3, 3 cases with score 2 and 1 case with score 1). Moderately-differentiated carcinomas were observed in the 3 cases (2 with score 2 and 1 with score 1). The poorly-differentiated histopathological type was present in 3 cases (all with score 1). Three types of E-cadherin distribution patterns were found: cytoplasmatic; cytoplasmatic and membranar; membranar. The presence of maximum score (value 3) of E-cadherin was found in well-differentiated squamocellular carcinomas of laryngeal, tongue, lip, nasal pyramid, and zygomatic area origin. A lower value of the score was present in the less differentiated histopathological type.

Share and Cite:

Vasca, E. , Lile, I. , Luce, A. , Napolitano, D. , Ricciardiello, F. , Abate, T. , Caraglia, M. , Duminica, T. and Vasca, V. (2014) Immunohistochemical Examination of E-Cadherin in the Head and Neck Squamocellular Carcinomas. International Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, 3, 330-336. doi: 10.4236/ijohns.2014.36059.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Schipper, H., Frixen, U.H., Behrens, J., Unger, A., Jahnke, K. and Birchmeier, W. (1991) E-Cadherin Expression in Squamous Cell Carcinomas of Head and Neck: Inverse Correlation with Tumor Dedifferentiation and Lymph Node Metastasis. Cancer Research, 51, 6328-6337.
[2] Finkel, T. and Holbrook, N.J. (2000) Oxidants, Oxidative Stress and the Biology of Ageing. Nature, 408, 239-247.
[3] Arcasoy, M.O., Jiang, X. and Haroon, Z.A. (2003) Expression of Erythropoietin Receptor Splice Variants in Human Cancer. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 307, 999-1007.
[4] Fong, L. and Engleman, E.G. (2000) Dendritic Cells in Cancer Immunotherapy. Annual Review of Immunology, 18, 245-273.
[5] Kovács, A.F. (2006) Maximized Combined Modality Treatment of an Unselected Population of Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer Patients. Final Results of a Pilot Study Compared with a Treatment-Dependent Prognosis Index. Journal of Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery, 34, 74-84.
[6] Kovács, A.F., Döbert, N., Gaa, J., Menzel, C. and Bitter, K. (2004) Positron Emission Tomography in Combination with Sentinel Node Biopsy Reduces the Rate of Elective Neck Dissections in the Treatment of Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 22, 3973-3980.
[7] Buduneli, N., Kardesler, L., Isik, H., Willis III, C.S., Hawkins, S.I., Kinane, D.F. and Scott, D.A. (2006) Effects of Smoking and Gingival Inflammation on Salivary Antioxidant Capacity. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 33, 159-164.
[8] Bucur, A., Navarro Vila, C., Lowry, J. and Acero, J. (2009) Compendiu de chirurgie oro-maxilo-faciala.
[9] Balkwill, F. and Mantovani, A. (2001) Inflammation and Cancer: Back to Virchow? Lancet, 357, 539-545.
[10] Tumuluri, V., Thomas, G.A. and Fraser, I.S. (2002) Analysis of the Ki-67 Antigen at the Invasive Tumour Front of Human Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine, 31, 598-604.
[11] Takane, M., Sugano, N., Ezawa, T., Uchiyama, T. and Ito, K. (2005) A Marker of Oxidative Stress in Saliva: Association with Periodontally-Involved Teeth of a Hopeless Prognosis. Journal of Oral Science, 47, 53-57.
[12] Borek, C. (2004) Dietary Antioxidants and Human Cancer. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 3, 333-341.
[13] Baselga, J. and Swain, S.M. (2009) Novel Anticancer Targets: Revisiting ERBB2 and Discovering ERBB3. Nature Reviews Cancer, 9, 463-475.
[14] Arcasoy, M.O., Amin, K., Karayal, A.F., Chou, S.C., Raleigh, J.A., Varia, M.A. and Haroon, Z.A. (2002) Functional Significance of Erythropoietin Receptor Expression in Breast Cancer. Laboratory Investigation, 82, 911-918.
[15] Lalli, A., Tilakaratne, W.M., Ariyawardana, A., et al. (2008) An Altered Keratinocyte Phenotype in Oral Submucous Fibrosis: Correlation of Keratin K17 Expression with Disease Severity. Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine, 37, 211-220.
[16] Rosado, P., Lequerica-Fernández, P., Fernández, S., Allonca, E., Villallaín, L. and de Vicente, J.C. (2013) E-Cadherin and β-Catenin Expression in Well-Differentiated and Moderately-Differentiated Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Relations with Clinical Variables. British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 51, 149-156.
[17] Wu, H., Lotan, R., Menter, D., Lippman, S.M. and Xu, X.C. (2000) Expression of E-Cadherin Is Associated with Squamous Differentiation in Squamous Cell Carcinomas. Anticancer Research, 20, 1385-1390.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.