Oral and maxillofacial pathology| Volume 123, ISSUE 1, P113-122, January 2017

Expression of stem cell markers in oral cavity and oropharynx squamous cell carcinoma

Published:September 28, 2016DOI:


      The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of CD24, CD44, CD133, ALDH1, CD29 (integrin-β1), and Ki-67 in squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity and oropharynx.

      Study Design

      Fifty-two tumors and 21 metastatic lymph nodes were evaluated by using immunohistochemistry.


      Seven of 52 cases (13.5%) showed positive cytoplasmic staining of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1; integrin-β1 was expressed in 45 of 50 cases (90%); 30 of 52 cases (57.7%) had positive membranous staining of CD44; CD24 was expressed in 44 of 50 cases (88%); and three of 52 cases (5.8%) stained positively for membranous CD133. Median proliferation rate, measured by Ki-67, was 37.1% for tumors. Five-year cancer-specific survival rates for the CD44-negative and CD44-positive groups were 74% and 38%, respectively, although this difference did not reach statistical significance (P = .052).


      Our study demonstrated the expression of putative stem cell markers in squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity and oropharynx, with participation of CD44-positive cells in association with poor survival outcome.
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