Expression of E-cadherin, CD44s, and CD44v6 in laryngeal and pharyngeal carcinomas

Am J Otolaryngol. Nov-Dec 2003;24(6):384-9. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0709(03)00082-6.


Objective: Tumors arising from different sites of the head and neck area have very different clinical behavior. Loss or reduction of expression of adhesion molecules has been assumed to play a critical role in the development of head and neck carcinomas. The aim of this study is to determine if there are differences in the expression of adhesion molecules E-cadherin, CD44s, and CD44v6 in pharyngeal and laryngeal squamous-cell carcinomas.

Materials and methods: E-cadherin, CD44s, and CD44v6 expression was determined by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded tissue specimens from 72 patients with squamous-cell carcinoma, 37 of the pharynx and 35 of the larynx.

Results: Expression of CD44s was significantly lower in pharyngeal than in laryngeal tumors (P =.01). No differences in the expression of E-cadherin and CD44v6 were observed between these sites.

Conclusions: These data suggest that there are some differences at molecular level between the different subsites of head and neck cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cadherins / biosynthesis*
  • Cadherins / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / immunology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Cell Adhesion / immunology
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / biosynthesis*
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / immunology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • CD44S antigen
  • CD44v6 antigen
  • Cadherins
  • Glycoproteins
  • Hyaluronan Receptors