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Salivary duct carcinoma: immunohistochemical profile of an aggressive salivary gland tumour
  1. A Etges1,
  2. D S Pinto, Jr2,
  3. L P Kowalski3,
  4. F A Soares4,
  5. V C Araújo2
  1. 1Oral Pathology, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Pelotas/UFP, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sol, Brazil, CEP 96015
  2. 2Oral Pathology, School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo/USP, Säo Paulo, Brazil, CEP 1509-900
  3. 3Head and Neck Surgery and Otorhinolaryngology Department, Cancer Hospital AC Camargo, São Paulo, Brazil, 01509010
  4. 4Pathology Department, Cancer Hospital A. C. Camargo, São Paulo, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr V C de Araújo
 Faculdade de Odontologia da Universidade de São Paulo/USP, São Paulo, Avenida Prof. Lineu de Azevedo Prestes, 2227, Cidade Universitária, São Paulo, SP, Brasil, CEP: 01509-900;


Background: Salivary duct carcinoma (SDC) is considered to be a distinct malignancy of the major salivary glands, because of its highly aggressive behaviour, and the high rate of recurrence, metastasis, and disease related death.

Aims: To investigate expression of the proteins involved in the retinoblastoma (pRb) and p53 pathways, which control cell cycle progression at the G1/S checkpoint, and also expression of the c-erbB-2 oncoprotein in SDCs.

Methods: Using a streptavidin–biotin method, five cases of SDC were evaluated immunohistochemically for the presence of cyclin D1, CDK4 (cyclin dependent kinase 4), p16 (CDK2A), pRb (retinoblastoma protein), E2F-1, p53, mdm2 (murine double minute 2), bcl-2, and the c-erbB-2 oncoprotein to determine whether there was a correlation between the expression of these proteins and patient outcome.

Results: All of the cases showed deregulation of the pRb and p53 pathways. Of the five patients analysed, only the patient with longterm survival (10 years) was not positive for c-erbB-2 expression.

Conclusions: c-erbB-2 overexpression was associated with a poor prognosis. Aggressive behaviour, recurrence, and metastatic potential do not appear to be related to cell cycle deregulation, but seem to be associated with the c-erbB-2 oncoprotein, which is involved in matrix degradation and proteolitic activity, in addition to increases in vessel permeability, endothelial cell growth, proliferation, migration, and differentiation. There was a correlation between c-erbB-2 oncoprotein expression and aggressive behaviour in SDCs.

  • cell cycle
  • retinoblastoma protein
  • c-erbB-2
  • salivary duct carcinoma
  • salivary gland tumour
  • CDK, cyclin dependent kinase
  • mdm2, murine double minute 2
  • pRB, retinoblastoma protein
  • SGT, salivary gland tumour

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