CCR7 and CXCR4 Expression in Primary Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas and Nodal Metastases – a Clinical and Immunohistochemical Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of oral histology and pathology, faculty of dentistry, Damascus University, Damascus, Syria

2 Department of Periodontology, Faculty of Dentistry, Lebanese University, Beirut , Lebanon.


Background: Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are common head and neck malignancies demonstrating lymph node LN involvement. Recently chemokine receptor overxpression has been reported in many cancers. Of particular interest, CCR7 appears to be a strong mediator of LN metastases, while CXCR4 may mediate distant metastases. Any relations between their expression in primary HNSCCs and metastatic lymph nodes need to be clarified. Aims: To investigate CCR7 andCXCR4 expression in primary HNSCCs of all tumor sizes, clinical stages and histological grades, as well as involved lymph nodes, then make comparisons, also with control normal oral epithelium. Materials and Methods: The sample consisted of 60 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens of primary HNSCCs, 77 others of metastasi-positive lymph nodes, and 10 of control normal oral epithelial tissues. Sections were conventionally stained with H&E and immunohistochemically with monoclonal anti-CCR7 and monoclonal anti-CXCR4 antibodies. Positive cells were counted under microscopic assessment in four fields (X40) per case. Results: There was no variation among primary HNSCC tumors staining positive for CCR7 and CXCR4 with tumor size of for CCR7 with lymph node involvement. However, a difference was noted between primary HNSCC tumors stained by CXCR4 with a single as compared to more numerous node involvement. CXCR4 appear to vary with the clinical stagebut no links were noted with histological grades. Staining for primary HNSCC tumors and metastatic lymph nodes correlated.


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