Prognostic significance of neural stem cell markers, Nestin and Musashi-1, in oral squamous cell carcinoma: expression pattern of Nestin in the precancerous stages of oral squamous epithelium

Ravindran, Gokulan; Devaraj, Halagowder
July 2015
Clinical Oral Investigations;Jul2015, Vol. 19 Issue 6, p1251
Academic Journal
Background: Besides the tissue-specific stem cell markers, neural and hematopoietic stem cell markers were found to play an important role in carcinogenesis. Based on this background, we have investigated the expression pattern and prognostic significance of neural stem cell markers, Nestin and Musashi-1, in oral cancer. Methods: We used immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence analyses to study the expression pattern and correlation between Nestin and Musashi-1 in oral squamous cell carcinoma. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to construct overall and disease-free survival curves, and the differences were calculated using log-rank test. Results: Nestin expression was gradually increased in the transformation stages of oral cancer. Both Nestin and Musashi-1 expressions were associated with higher stage and poorly differentiated status of oral carcinoma. Interestingly, Nestin and Musashi-1 double positive cases showed statistically highly significant correlation with poorer survival of oral carcinoma patients. Conclusions: Expression of Nestin in the preneoplastic lesions indicates its role in the transformation of oral squamous epithelium. Clinicopathological and survival analyses suggest that Nestin and Musashi-1 might be associated with invasion, differentiation and poorer survival in oral squamous cell carcinoma. In addition to their role as independent prognostic indicators, Nestin and Musashi-1 double positivity can be used to select high-risk cases for effective therapy and this is the novel finding of this study. Clinical relevance: Nestin and Musashi-1 are found to be independent prognostic markers of oral cancer, and they might be used as molecular targets for effective therapy.


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