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Prognostic implications of Fas-ligand expression in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Authors

  • Sheng-Yow Ho MD,

    1. Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
    2. Department of Radiation Oncology, Sin-Lau Christian Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan
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  • How-Ran Guo MD, ScD,

    1. Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
    2. Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
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  • Helen H. W. Chen MD,

    1. Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
    2. Department of Radiation Oncology, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
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  • Jenn-Ren Hsiao MD,

    1. Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
    2. Department of Otolaryngology, National Cheng Kung University, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 70428, Taiwan
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  • Yin-Tai Jin DDS,

    1. Department of Pathology, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
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  • Sen-Tien Tsai MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology, National Cheng Kung University, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 70428, Taiwan
    • Department of Otolaryngology, National Cheng Kung University, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 70428, Taiwan
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Abstract

Background.

In nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), Fas-ligand (Fas-L)–mediated apoptosis might contribute to the immune privilege of tumors. In some cancers, dysregulation of Fas-L protein in tumors might lead to disease progression. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlations between Fas-L expression and the clinical outcomes in patients with NPC.

Methods.

We recruited 78 patients with primary NPC, classified clinical stages according to the 1997 American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system, and assessed Fas-L with immunohistochemical methods.

Results.

Forty-one (53%) of 78 patients were Fas-L–positive. The prevalence was 0%, 57%, 58%, and 82% from stages I to IV, respectively (p < .001). Fas-L expression was associated with the N classification (p = .05) but not the T classification. Patients with positive Fas-L expression had a lower rate of disease-free survival and overall survival (p = .01 for all log-rank tests).

Conclusion.

Patients with NPC with Fas-L–positive tumors had higher clinical stages and lymph node metastasis at diagnosis and poorer disease-free survival and overall survival; therefore, Fas-L expression may be a potential biomarker of prognosis. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck26: 977–983, 2004

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