Clinicopathological significance of expression of CD44 variants in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Minoru Kanke, Masato Fujii, Kaori Kameyama, Jin Kanzaki, Yutaka Tokumaru, Yorihisa Imanishi, Toshiki Tomita, Yasuhiro Matsumura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Splice variants of the cell surface glycoprotein CD44 have been reported to be associated with the progression of various human tumors. The aim of this study is to determine the correlation between the expression of CD44 isoforms, especially CD44 variant 2 (CD44v2), and the clinicopathological features of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs). The expression of CD44 isoforms was evaluated immunohistochemically in paraffin-embedded tissues from 89 primary lesions, using monoclonal antibodies against CD44 standard (CD44st), CD44 variant 6 (CD44v6) and CD44v2. Cancer tissues from 89 (100%), 85 (95.5%) and 59 (66.3%) patients showed positive immunoreactivity for CD44st, CD44v6 and CD44v2, respectively. A significant correlation was observed between the down-regulation of CD44v2 and poorer differentiation of the tumor cells (P=0.02). We could not find any significant correlation between the expression of CD44v2 and T stage or N stage (lymph node status). However, the rate of positive cervical lymph node metastasis tended to increase with reduced expression of CD44v2 (P=0.08). Down- regulation of CD44v2 expression was correlated with shorter overall survival (P=0.01). Furthermore, Cox's multivariate analysis revealed that only CD44v2 expression and lymph node status were independent prognostic factors. These findings suggest that down-regulation of CD44v2 expression may be one of the biological markers for the degree of malignancy in HNSCCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-415
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Journal of Cancer Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Apr
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological marker
  • CD44 variant
  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Prognostic factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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