Background: M30-Apoptosense and M65 ELISAs can detect caspase cleaved and intact forms of cytokeratin 18. As biologic marker of cell death, both assays can be useful to evaluate prognosis and chemotherapy response in the patients with breast, lung, and endometrium cancer. In the present study, we measured serum M30 and M65 levels in the patients with locally advanced head and neck tumors, and compared with healthy controls.
Materials and methods: A total of 40 consecutive patients with locally advanced head and neck tumors were included in this study. The sera were collected from the patients and 32 healthy controls. Median age was 51 years (range: 19-80) and squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck was major histopathologic subtype. Primary tumors were localized in larynx, nasopharynx, hypopharynx and tongue. The mean serum M30 concentration was 112.7+/-59 U/L in patients and this was significantly higher than healthy controls (mean 106.5+/-17.6 U/L) (p<0.05). Serum M65 levels were also higher in patients with head and neck tumors when compared to controls but not statistically significant (261.7+/-175 U/L vs 200.2+/-164.5 U/L, p=0.077). There was no statistically significant correlation among age, stage and localization of tumor and serum M30 and M65 levels.
Conclusion: According to our knowledge, this is the first study which evaluated serum M30 and M65 levels in head and neck tumors. We found increased serum levels of M30 and M65 levels in head and neck tumors. Significantly higher levels of serum M30 may have prognostic importance in this type of tumor. Larger studies are needed to evaluate its' prognostic importance.