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Bcl-2 as Prognostic Factor in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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A series of 66 cases of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) was retrospectively analyzed by immunohistochemistry for bcl-2 expression to verify its predictive value for clinical outcome in patients with OSCC. After grouping for bcl-2 expression, OSCCs were statistically analyzed for the variables age, gender, histological grading (G), TNM, staging, recurrence, and overall survival rate. Univariate and multivariate (Cox regression) analyses were performed. Thirty-six OSCC (54.5%) showed expression for bcl-2, whereas 30 (44.5%) were negative. No statistical association was found between bcl-2 expression and any variables considered at baseline. Overall disease-specific survival rate at 72 months was 51%, independently from the extent of the tumor. In terms of prognostic significance, the bcl-2-positive group showed more than 60% survival at 72 months whereas the bcl-2-negative group showed none. An independent association of bcl-2 expression was found with an improved overall survival rate (p = 0.048), although grading and staging were established to be the best baseline markers of prognosis. On the basis of these results, it is possible to suggest bcl-2 as an early marker of prognosis: lack of bcl-2 expression could constitute a hallmark of aggressive biological behavior in OSCC.
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Keywords: Cancer; Cox analysis; Head and neck; Survival; bcl-2

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy 2: Institute of Histology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy 3: Institute of Pathology, University of Ancona, Ancona, Italy 4: Department of Dental Sciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy 5: Department of Biomorphological and Functional Sciences-Pathology Unit, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy 6: Department of Surgical Sciences, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy 7: Institute of Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy

Publication date: 2005-05-01

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