Expression of hypoxic signaling markers in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and its clinical significance.

European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology : official journal of the European Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies (EUFOS) : affiliated with the German Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

PubMedID: 24627073

Choi HG, Kim JS, Kim KH, Kim KH, Sung MW, Choe JY, Kim JE, Jung YH. Expression of hypoxic signaling markers in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and its clinical significance. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014;.
Hypoxia is a consistent finding in fast-growing tumors; it contributes to tumor progression and therapeutic responses. We explored the expression of hypoxia-associated biomarkers in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) to assess their relationship with clinical factors in HNSCC. In total, 90 patients with HNSCC were enrolled. Expression of HIF-1a, HSP70, HSP90, VEGF, IGF-1R, and P16 was investigated by immunohistochemistry. Their correlations with clinical factors, including location of primary sites, T stage, N stage, M stage, HPV status, primary treatment success/failure, recurrences, disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival, were analyzed. HIF-1a, HPS70, HPS90, VEGF, and IGF-1R were positive in 33 of 89 (37.1 %), 62 of 87 (71.3 %), 83 of 89 (93.3 %), 41 of 87 (47.1 %), and 50 of 56 (89.3 %) cases, respectively. Expression levels of some of these markers were correlated. High HIF-1a or HSP 70 correlated with poor DFS, and expression of HSP70 correlated with LN metastasis. HPV-related carcinomas showed high HSP 70 and IGF-1R expression. Hypoxia-associated proteins were highly expressed and associated with aggressive clinical features in HNSCC. Expression of HIF-1a or HSP70 can be considered poor prognostic indicator in HNSCC. Our results suggest that hypoxic signaling is activated in HNSCC, especially in HPV-related tumors.