Aims Head and neck cancer, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and has a high potential for locoregional invasion and nodal metastasis. Therefore, discovery of a useful molecular biomarker capable of predicting tumour progression and metastasis of OSCC is crucial. We have previously reported zinc finger AN1-type containing 4 (ZFAND4) as one of the most upregulated genes in recurrent OSCC using a cDNA microarray analysis. Although ZFAND4 has been shown to promote cell proliferation of gastric cancer, its expression and clinicopathological roles in OSCC remain unclear.
Methods In this study, we examined ZFAND4 expression by immunohistochemistry in 214 cases of OSCC.
Results High cytoplasmic expression of ZFAND4 was observed in 45 out of 214 (21%) patients with OSCC. Expression levels of ZFAND4 were strongly associated with metastasis to the lymph nodes (p=0.0429) and distant organs (p=0.0068). Cases with high expression of ZFAND4 had a significantly unfavourable prognosis compared with patients with low expression of ZFAND4 (p<0.0001). Furthermore, ZFAND4 overexpression was an independent poor prognostic factor for OSCC as determined by multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazards model (p<0.0001).
Conclusions These results suggest that ZFAND4 is a useful marker for predicting metastasis and poor prognosis in patients with OSCC.
- oral cancer
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MK-S and TS contributed equally.
Handling editor Runjan Chetty.
Contributors Conception and design: TS, HK. Acquisition of data: TS, MKS, HN, CN. Analysis and interpretation of data: TS, MKS, CN, TK. Writing and review of the manuscript: TS, MKS, HK, TK.
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Competing interests We declare that there is not any financial support or relationships which may pose a conflict of interest in the contents of the submitted manuscript.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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