Background/aim: The biological behaviour of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) might be an effect of aberrant activation of several signalling pathways, like WNT and NOTCH pathways. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prognostic significance of WNT1 and NOTCH1 in patients with OSCC in relation to pro-angiogenic factors (PDGFRβ, CXCR4).
Materials and methods: Immunohistochemistry was performed in 60 OSCC tissue samples to compare WNT1, NOTCH1, PDGFRβ, and CXCR4 expression and correlate it with clinicopathological parameters.
Results: Immunoreactivity of WNT1, NOTCH1, PDGFRβ, and CXCR4 was found in 51.7%, 25.0%, 63.3%, and 70.0% of the patients, respectively. WNT1 expression was positively correlated with NOTCH1 (r=0.269, p=0.037) and CXCR4 (r=0.268, p=0.038). Positive correlation was observed also between NOTCH1 and CXCR4 (r=0.493, p<0.001). WNT1 and PDGFRβ expression was significantly associated with shorter overall survival (p=0.042, p=0.033, respectively). Multivariate Cox regression model revealed that WNT1 and CXCR4 were independent prognostic factors (p=0.009, p=0.021, respectively).
Conclusion: WNT1 and NOTCH1 expression is associated with CXCR4 expression in OSCC, suggesting that WNT and NOTCH pathways are important in oral tumour angiogenesis. Moreover, WNT1 and CXCR4 could serve as independent prognostic factors for patients with OSCC.
Keywords: CXCR; NOTCH; PDGFR; WNT; oral squamous cell carcinoma; prognosis; signalling pathways.
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