Predicting tumor metastasis in patients with oral cancer by means of the proliferation marker Ki67

J Oral Sci. 1999 Jun;41(2):53-6. doi: 10.2334/josnusd.41.53.


Recent developments of a Ki67 antibody to recombinant parts of the Ki67 nuclear antigen have provided a marker for tumor proliferation. In the present study, biopsy specimens were obtained from 20 patents with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity at various sites, who also received a regional neck dissection. The patients' mean age was 61 years. Normal mucosa obtained from the surgical materials of 10 patients with a non-tumor condition was also examined as a control. The expression of Ki67 was examined immunohistochemically and the labeling index (LI) assessed in the biopsy specimens. The patients were divided into two groups; patient who already had a regional lymph node metastasis at the time of tumor resection and patient without any metastasis. All of the oral carcinoma and normal mucosa specimens were positive for Ki67, while the magnitude of staining showed a wide variation. The median LI of the patients with metastasis and without metastasis was 37.63 +/- 8.30 and 20.40 +/- 4.22 respectively, while the normal mucosa control was 7.62 +/- 1.70. The results of this study suggest that an immunohistochemical examination of the biopsy materials for the Ki67 antigen and assessed LI index should prove useful for the prediction of lymph node metastasis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Ki-67 Antigen