Podoplanin expression in the development and progression of laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas

Mol Cancer. 2010 Mar 2:9:48. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-9-48.


Background: Podoplanin expression is attracting interest as a marker for cancer diagnosis and prognosis. We therefore investigated the expression pattern and clinical significance of podoplanin during the development and progression of laryngeal carcinomas.

Results: Podoplanin expression was determined by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded tissue specimens from 84 patients with laryngeal premalignancies and 53 patients with laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas. We found podoplanin expression extending from the basal to the suprabasal layer of the epithelium in 37 (44%) of 84 dysplastic lesions, whereas normal epithelium showed negligible expression. Patients carrying podoplanin-positive lesions had a higher laryngeal cancer incidence than those with negative expression reaching borderline statistical significance (51% versus 30%, P = 0.071). Podoplanin expression in laryngeal carcinomas exhibited two distinct patterns. 20 (38%) cases showed diffuse expression in most tumour cells and 33 (62%) focal expression at the proliferating periphery of tumour nests. High podoplanin expression was inversely correlated with T classification (P = 0.033), disease stage (P = 0.006), and pathological grade (P = 0.04). There was a trend, although not significant, towards reduced disease-specific survival for patients with low podoplanin levels (P = 0.31) and diffuse expression pattern (P = 0.08).

Conclusions: Podoplanin expression increases in the early stages of laryngeal tumourigenesis and it seems to be associated with a higher laryngeal cancer risk. Podoplanin expression in laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas, however, diminishes during tumour progression. Taken together, these data support a role for podoplanin expression in the initiation but not in the progression of laryngeal cancers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Disease Progression*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Precancerous Conditions / metabolism
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology*


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • PDPN protein, human