Expression of E-cadherin in squamous cell carcinomas of the supraglottic larynx with correlations to clinicopathological features

Eur J Cancer. 2002 May;38(8):1059-64. doi: 10.1016/s0959-8049(01)00399-9.


The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic significance of E-cadherin expression in squamous cell carcinomas of the supraglottic larynx. 101 primary carcinomas were retrospectively studied. The level of E-cadherin expression was determined by immunohistochemistry. There was a significant correlation between decreased E-cadherin expression and the presence of nodal metastases (P=0.007). T-stage (P=0.025) and histological grade (P=0.043) were also associated with nodal metastases. Multivariate analysis confirmed that these three parameters were independent predictors of nodal metastases. Decreased E-cadherin expression also correlated with an increase in recurrence rates (P=0.019). However, in multivariate analysis only pathological N-stage was significantly associated with disease-specific survival. We conclude that E-cadherin is an independent predictor of nodal metastases in supraglottic squamous cell carcinomas. Determination of E-cadherin expression levels might be useful in identifying patients with clinically negative lymph nodes who are at risk of occult metastases, allowing more effective treatment strategies to be implemented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Glottis
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cadherins