J Oral Pathol Med (2010) 39: 368–375
Background: Poor prognosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is partly attributed to the lack of significant tumor marker for accurate staging and prognostication. We have evaluated survivin, which is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis family as a cancer marker associated with proliferation, angiogenesis, oral carcinogenesis, and OSCC patient survival, as we reported a prognostic significance of survivin expression in lymph node previously.
Methods: To evaluate survivin expression in six OSCC cell lines, Western blotting was performed. Hamster oral carcinogenesis model was used to observe changes of survivin expression in oral carcinogenesis. Finally, we assessed the diagnostic and prognostic significance of survivin in a series of 38 primary OSCC through immunohistochemistry (CD31, PCNA) and Kaplan–Meier’s test.
Results: Survivin expression was detected in all OSCC cell lines at a varying level but not observed in normal gingival keratinocyte cells. In hamster model, survivin expression was observed from 8 weeks through 16 weeks and the intensity of expression became strong until 16 weeks. Clinicopathological analysis revealed a significant correlation between survivin expression and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.006) and proliferation (P < 0.001). However, there was no significant relationship with differentiation, micro vessel density, and cancer stage based on TNM. Survivin overexpression had a significant negative effect on survival of patients.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate the significant relationship between survivin expression and oral carcinogenesis and aggressiveness of OSCC including survival rate of patient. Survivin therefore may be used as a significant cancer marker to gain prognostic information of OSCC.