• cyclooxygenase-2;
  • head and neck cancer;
  • immunohistochemistry;
  • squamous cell carcinoma

J Oral Pathol Med (2010) 40: 385–389

Background:  Cyclooxygenase-2 expression is associated with unfavorable outcome in various cancers, and evidence is accumulating that carcinogenesis possibly evolves from intracellular changes in response to induction of this enzyme. Today selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors are being studied and used as complement in cancer treatment. This study examined the prognostic value of cyclooxygenase-2 expression in oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC).

Methods:  Expression of cyclooxygenase-2 was determined in biopsies from 76 stage matched patients with OTSCC by immunohistochemistry between January 2000 and December 2004 in Stockholm, Sweden. Additionally, twelve samples taken after pre-operative radiotherapy were investigated.

Results:  All OTSCC specimen expressed cyclooxygenase-2 by immunostaining. The cyclooxygenase-2 staining intensity increased significantly with more advanced stage (P = 0.020). Fifty percent of the surgical specimen showed a decrease in immunostaining post-radiation (P = 0.031). No association was found with survival.

Conclusion:  Cyclooxygenase-2 expression has limited prognostic value in OTSCC.