Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 361–367 | Cite as

Survivin expression in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas is frequent and correlates with clinical parameters and treatment outcomes

  • Adrian MünscherEmail author
  • Sebastian Prochnow
  • Amit Gulati
  • Guido Sauter
  • Balazs Lörincz
  • Marco Blessmann
  • Henning Hanken
  • Arne Böttcher
  • Till Sebastian Clauditz
Original Article



Strong expression of survivin is associated with worse survival in many different tumours, and in cell culture, a correlation between radiation resistance and survivin expression can be seen. The potential of survivin expression as a prognostic/predictive marker or therapeutic target has not been examined in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) yet.

Material and methods

Retrospective study of 452 tissue samples and clinical data from patients with squamous cell carcinomas of the larynx/hypopharynx (LSCC), oral cavity (OSCC) and oropharynx (OPSCC) treated in the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf between 2002 and 2006. The expression patterns were detected by tissue microarray technique and correlated with clinical parameters (sex, age, tumour location, TNM 7th edition, grading, recurrence-free and overall survival).


222 OSCC, 126 OPSCC and 105 LSCC tumours of 118 females and 335 males with a mean follow-up of 41.3 months were examined. Survivin expression correlates with pN, cM, pT and overall survival.

Conclusion and clinical relevance

The potential of survivin as a prognostic/predictive marker is very high. The findings have to be confirmed in a larger cohort of HNSCC esp. in those tumours treated primarily with radio/radiochemotherapy.


Survivin Prognosis Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) 



The work was supported by the Institute of Pathology and the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Münscher
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sebastian Prochnow
    • 1
  • Amit Gulati
    • 2
  • Guido Sauter
    • 3
  • Balazs Lörincz
    • 4
  • Marco Blessmann
    • 5
  • Henning Hanken
    • 6
  • Arne Böttcher
    • 1
  • Till Sebastian Clauditz
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck SurgeryUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Medical Biometry and EpidemiologyUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Institute of PathologyUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  4. 4.Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck SurgeryAsklepios Altona HospitalHamburgGermany
  5. 5.Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic SurgeryUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  6. 6.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany

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