S. Kurahara et al., Immunohistochemical study of sialyl Le(a) and sialyl Le(x) antigen in oralsquamous cell carcinoma: The association of sialyl Le(a) expression with the metastatic potential, HEAD NECK, 21(4), 1999, pp. 330-337
HEAD AND NECK-JOURNAL FOR THE SCIENCES AND SPECIALTIES OF THE HEAD AND NECK
Background. Carbohydrate antigens in cancer cells are considered to be invo
lved in the binding of cancer cells to the endothelium during metastasis.
Methods. Seventy cases of primary oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) were o
btained from biopsy specimens and were analyzed immunohistochemically using
an antibody against sialyl Lewis (Le)(a) or sialyl Le(x). Flow cytometry w
as performed to detect the sialyl Le(a) or sialyl Le(x) expressed on oral S
CC cell lines.
Results. The expressions of sialyl Le(a), but not sialyl Le(x), of primary
tumors significantly correlated to nodal metastasis; 71% of the metastatic
cases express sialyl Le(a) and the cases with positive sialyl Le(a) and no
sialyl Le(x) demonstrated a high incidence of metastasis (80%). A flow cyto
metric study demonstrated the oral SCC cell line, which can metastasize in
nude mice, to express a high level of sialyl Le(a).
Conclusion. The high expression of sialyl Le(a) in primary tumors may thus
be involved in nodal metastasis and therefore predict a poor prognosis in o
ral SCC. (C) 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.