, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 227-238

Therapy for oral squamous cell carcinoma by tegafur and streptococcal agent OK-432 in combination with radiotherapy: Association of the therapeutic effect with differentiation and apoptosis in the cancer cells

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Twenty patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma having mainly stage II or III lesions without distant metastasis, were treated with tegafur and streptococcal agent, OK-432, in combination with radiotherapy. As a consequence, 16 cases among the treated 20 cases showed complete remission by this therapy alone. Especially, we have found that the squamous cell carcinoma arising in non-keratinizing oral epithelium rather than in keratinizing oral epithelium has better response to this therapy. Among the 16 cases with complete remission (CR) by the current therapy, 10 cases were histopathologically diagnosed as well-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma and six cases as moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. When we examined immunohistochemically the expres-sion of various antigens such as proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), p53 and LeY or the presence of DNA fragmentation by nick-end labelling in the biopsy materials taken at the first visit to our clinic from 20 patients treated with the current therapy, the CR group showed a significantly increased LeY expres-sion level ( p< 0.05) and DNA fragmentation rate ( p< 0.05) as compared with the partial response (PR, n= 3) + no change (NC, n= 1) group. On the other hand, the CR group with respect to PCNA expression level was significantly decreased as compared with the PR + NC group ( p< 0.05). From these findings, it can be considered that the therapy for oral squamous cell carcinoma by UFT and OK-432 in combination with radiotherapy is very effective, which may be associated with differentiation or apoptosis in oral squamous carcinoma cells. In addition, we present the clinical findings and results of immunohistochemical staining for the biopsy materials obtained from four CR cases treated with the current therapeutic method.