Virchows Archiv

, Volume 456, Issue 5, pp 473–482 | Cite as

Impact of podoplanin expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma: clinical and histopathologic correlations

  • Matthias Kreppel
  • Martin Scheer
  • Uta Drebber
  • Lutz Ritter
  • Joachim E. Zöller
Original Article


Cervical lymph node metastases reduce the overall survival of patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and require a neck dissection. However, elective management of a clinical N0 neck remains a controversial topic, as there are no reliable factors available predicting cervical lymph node metastases. Recent studies suggest an impact of podoplanin expression on metastatic spread to the cervical lymph nodes. Our aim was to investigate the influence of podoplanin expression on prognosis and metastatic lymphatic spread. In our retrospective study, podoplanin expression was examined in a set of 80 patients with OSCC by immunhistochemistry. We analysed associations between the level of podoplanin expression and various clinicopathologic parameters. In 67 patients (84%), podoplanin was expressed on the tumour cells. Nineteen patients (24%) showed high levels of expression. The 5-year overall survival (31%) for patients with high levels of podoplanin expression was significantly lower (p < 0.001) than for patients with low and moderate expression of podoplanin (93% and 65%, respectively). There was an association between podoplanin expression and the frequency of cervical lymph node metastases. Cervical lymph node metastases were found in 79% of the patients with high podoplanin expression, while patients with weak podoplanin expression had metastases in only 22% (p < 0.001). None of the 13 patients without podoplanin expression had cervical lymph node metastases. We concluded that podoplanin is expressed frequently in OSCC and that podoplanin expression correlates with cervical lymph node metastases and clinical outcome.


Podoplanin Immunhistochemistry Oral cancer Prognosis Cervical lymph node metastases 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no potential or actual conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Kreppel
    • 1
    • 3
  • Martin Scheer
    • 1
    • 3
  • Uta Drebber
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lutz Ritter
    • 1
    • 3
  • Joachim E. Zöller
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department for Oral and Cranio-maxillo and Facial Plastic SurgeryUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  3. 3.Centre of Integrated Oncology (CIO) Cologne-BonnCologneGermany

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