Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Value of ezrin, maspin and nm23-H1 protein expressions in predicting outcome of patients with head and neck squamous-cell carcinoma treated with radical radiotherapy
  1. Paulette Mhawech-Fauceglia1,
  2. Pavel Dulguerov2,
  3. Amy Beck1,*,
  4. Marta Bonet3,
  5. Abdelkarim S Allal3
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland
  2. 2Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland
  3. 3Division of Radiation Oncology, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr P Mhawech-Fauceglia
 Department of Pathology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Street, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA; pmhawech1{at}


Background: Prognostic factors in predicting outcomes in patients with head and neck squamous-cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are limited to the clinical–pathological parameters, including lymph node metastasis, location, grade and stage of the disease.

Aim: To determine whether the expression of these proteins has a value in predicting patient outcome.

Methods: Ezrin, maspin and nm23-H1 immunohistochemistry in tissue samples of 120 patients with HNSCC were evaluated using the microarray technique.

Results: In determining the association among each of the three proteins and the clinical–pathological parameters, low maspin expression was the only one found to be significantly associated with high tumour grade (p = 0.007); all others showed no significant associations. In univariate analysis, patients with tumours expressing high ezrin had a shorter disease-free survival (DFS) of 51% than those with low ezrin expression (DFS 84%; p = 0.08). In multivariate analysis, tumours with the combination of loss of maspin and low histological grade had longer DFS (83%) compared with those with high maspin and high histological grade (DFS 42%; p = 0.08).

Conclusion: Our study is the first to determine the value of ezrin and maspin in HNSCC in a large series of patients with long follow-up. Ezrin and maspin seem to have a potential prognostic value in patients with HNSCC but results should be confirmed with further studies.

  • DFS, disease-free survival
  • HNSCC, head and neck squamous-cell carcinoma
  • IHC, immunohistochemical analysis

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • * Currently, Dr P Mhawech-Fauceglia is at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, USA

  • Published Online First 5 July 2006

  • Competing interests: None declared.