Changed Expression of E-cadherin and Galectin-9 in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas but Lack of Potential as Prognostic Markers


Background: The survival rate for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has remained generally unchangedin the past three decades, underlining the need for more biomarkers to be developed to aid prognostication andeffective management. The prognostic potential of E-cadherin expression in OSCCs has been variable in previousstudies while galectin-9 expression has been correlated with improved prognosis in other cancers. The aim ofthe present study was to investigate the expression of galectin-9 and E-cadherin in OSCC and their potentialas prognostic biomarkers. Materials and
Methods: E-cadherin and Galectin-9 expression was examined byimmunohistochemistry in 32 cases of OSCC of the buccal mucosa (13 with and 19 without lymph node metastasis),as well as 6 samples of reactive lesions and 5 of normal buccal mucosa.
Results: The expression of E-cadherin inOSCC was significantly lower than the control tissues but galectin-9 expression was conversely higher. MedianE-cadherin HSCOREs between OSCCs positive and negative for nodal metastasis were not significantly different.Mean HSCOREs for galectin-9 in OSCC without lymph node metastasis (127.7±81.8) was higher than OSCC withlymph node metastasis (97.9±62.9) but this difference was not statistically significant.
Conclusions: E-cadherinexpression is reduced whilst galectin-9 expression is increased in OSCC. However, the present results suggestthat E-cadherin and galectin-9 expression may not be useful as prognostic markers for OSCC.