Document Type: Original
Department of Oral and MaxillofacialPathology, School of Dentistry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
Department of Otolaryngology, Khalili Hospital, Shiraz Institute for Cancer Research, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
Shiraz Institute for Cancer Research, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
HER2/neu, a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor family, has been shown to be over-expressed in some tumors. The purpose of this study was to determine the salivary levels and tissue expression of HER2/neu in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and their correlation with clinicopathologic parameters.
Materials and Methods:
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were used to evaluate the salivary levels of HER2/neu and immunohistochemistry was used to measure tissue expression of HER2/neu in 28 patients with HNSCC and 25 healthy control subjects.
The salivary levels of HER2/neu in patients with HNSCC were not significantly higher compared to healthy control subjects. There was no apparent correlation between salivary HER2/neu levels and clinicopathological features such as age, sex, tumor grade, tumor size and nodal status. All HNSCC specimens were positive (membranous or/and cytoplasmic) for HER2/neu, except one sample. Only one HNSCC specimen showed staining purely in the tumor-cell cytoplasm. All control specimens were also positive for both membranous and cytoplasmic HER2/neu but there was a significant difference between the level of cytoplasmic staining in the HNSCC specimens and in the control specimens (P<0.05).
In our study, no overexpression of HER2/neu was observed. Thus, identification of HER2/neu levels plays no role in differentiating between normal and squamous cell carcinoma tissues or detecting the carcinogenesis process. Our findings suggest that the use of HER2/neu as a salivary marker of HNSCC is not recommended, because no significant preoperative elevation and no association with clinicopathological features were found.