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Open Access Research

Study of β-catenin, E-cadherin and vimentin in oral squamous cell carcinoma with and without lymph node metastases

Partheeban Balasundaram1, Manoj Kumar Singh1*, Amit Kumar Dinda1, Alok Thakar2 and Rajni Yadav1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

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Diagnostic Pathology 2014, 9:145  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-9-145

Published: 21 July 2014

Abstract

Background

Despite great improvement in the surgical treatment and adjunctive therapy for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), prognosis remains dismal in advanced cases. Regional metastatic disease is known to reduce recurrence free survival and disease specific survival significantly. The present study was conducted to evaluate the role of cell adhesion molecules β-catenin, E-cadherin and vimentin in predicting tumour metastasis of OSCC.

Methods

A total of sixty cases of oral squamous cell carcinoma were included for the study which comprised of 30 cases with lymph node metastases and 30 cases without metastases. Immunohistochemistry was performed for β-catenin, E-cadherin and vimentin on both the test groups along with 30 controls from normal buccal mucosa and inflammatory lesions each.

Results

There was no significant difference between the immunoreactivity for β-catenin, E-cadherin and vimentin between OSCC with and without lymph node metastases. Vimentin immunopositivity was noted with varying intensity in all cases of OSCC.

Conclusions

E-cadherin and β-catenin are probably not the key determinants for regional metastases in OSCC. The role of vimentin expression in OSCC and metastases is controversial and needs to be studied further.

The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/6506095201182002 webcite.

Keywords:
Squamous cell carcinoma; Metastases; Lymph node; β-catenin; Vimentin; E-cadherin