Objectives/hypothesis: Head and neck cancer tumor cell invasion is responsible for both local destruction and distant metastasis. Invasion is largely mediated by matrix metalloproteases that are thought to be induced by tumor cell derived extracellular matrix metalloprotease inducer (EMMPRIN) in surrounding fibroblasts. We hypothesize that EMMPRIN is overexpressed in laryngeal cancer.
Study design: Retrospective analysis of patients with supraglottic laryngeal cancer.
Methods: Total protein immunoblotting and immunohistochemical analysis of normal and malignant tissue were performed to determine EMMPRIN expression. EMMPRIN immunoreactivity in 33 patients was correlated with clinicopathological features and survival.
Results: Whole-tissue lysates of tumors (n = 8) and metastatic lymph nodes (n = 2), but not normal skin (n = 8) or mucosa (n = 6), expressed significant amounts of EMMPRIN by immunoblotting. EMMPRIN membrane immunoreactivity (transmembrane EMMPRIN score) was associated with nodal positivity (P =.07), and it was a borderline significant predictor of survival (Hazards Ratio = 2.4; 95% CI, 0.88-6.55). As a categorical variable, higher transmembrane EMMPRIN score was associated with higher mortality.
Conclusions: The present study helps to establish EMMPRIN as a widely expressed protein in dysplastic mucosa and supraglottic laryngeal cancer, but not in normal epithelial counterparts.