, Volume 139, Issue 10, pp 1735-1744

Expression of E-cadherin, Twist, and p53 and their prognostic value in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma

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Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and p53 play important roles in controlling cancer invasion and metastasis. However, discrepancies still exist in the relationship between the expression of an epithelial marker E-cadherin and predicting short survival of patients in many types of cancer. In this study, we aimed to determine the levels of E-cadherin, Twist, and p53 in tumor tissues from patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and their clinical significances.


The protein expression of 112 OSCC tumor and 16 benign tissues was examined by immunohistochemistry staining. Overall survival rates of 112 OSCC patients were measured using Kaplan–Meier estimates and the log-rank tests.


E-cadherin and p53 downregulation were found in 70 of 112 (62.5 %) and 66 of 112 (59.0 %), respectively, and Twist overexpression was found in 72 of 112 (64.3 %) studied cases of OSCC patients. Expression of E-cadherin was significantly associated with tumor location (P = 0.004) and mortality (P = 0.010). Patients with lower E-cadherin expression (P = 0.024), betel quid chewing (P = 0.006), smoking (P = 0.001), tumor size >2 cm (P = 0.001), advanced tumor stage (P = 0.043), and recurrence (P < 0.001) exhibited a poorer outcome. Multivariate analysis showed that E-cadherin is an independent marker for survival prediction. Additionally, low E-cadherin expression is significantly correlated with low p53 expression.


E-cadherin is an independent marker for survival prediction in OSCC. Co-evaluation of E-cadherin and p53 expression might be a valuable tool for predicting OSCC patient outcome.