Aim: Nodal metastasis is a major prognostic indicator for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) progression. Recently, it has been revealed that lymphangiogenic growth factor VEGF-C and its receptor Flt-4 play an important role for invasion and metastasis in cancer cells. Therefore, in the present study, we examined VEGF-C expression and its correlation with lymphatic status including the number of lymph vessels and lymphatic invasion, tumor invasion and metastasis in OSCC cases.
Methods: We examined the intra- and peritumoral lymphatic vessels using D2-40 in 54 OSCC cases and correlated them with VEGF-C expression and clinicopathologic findings. Further we compared histological pattern of invasion and pathological findings.
Results: High expression of VEGF-C was frequently observed in OSCC and was well associated with increased number of lymph vessels and lymphatic invasion. Moreover, VEGF-C was well correlated with invasion pattern and metastasis.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that VEGF-C may play an important role for lymphangiogenesis and invasion in the metastatic process and can be a strong predicting factor for metastasis of OSCC.
- oral squamous cell carcinoma
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