Clinicopathological spectrum and expression of vegf-c in patients presenting with oral squamous cell carcinoma in pakistan

Rakia Sahaf., Aman-ur-Rehman., Sunila Hussain., Ghulam Rasool., Sameer Anjum., Abdul Hanan Nagi and Nadia Naseem

Background: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), being the sixth most prevalent cancer worldwide, is characterized by local invasion and high metastatic and recurrence rates. Lymphangiogenesis facilitates invasion and nodal metastasis, and vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) has been implicated as a key mediator of this process. The aim of the present study was to determine VEGF-C expression in OSCC and its association with clinicopathological parameters and lymph node metastasis in our population.
Methods: Biopsies from 110 OSCC patients, with detailed documentation of their clinical data were included. After histological examination, cases were evaluated immunohistochemically for VEGF-C expression. Reactions were quantified and relation with clinicopathological parameters explored. The data was analysed using SPSS 21.0.
Results: Mean age of the patients was 59.91 ± 1.36 years with male to female ratio being 1.2:1. OSCC was commonly associated with smoking (30.9%). Immunohistochemical staining of the histological tissue sections of all cases of well (n= 42), moderate (n = 38) and poorly-differentiated OSCC (n = 30) revealed extensive VEGF-C immunopositivity compared to normal keratinocytes. VEGF-C expression was associated significantly with clinical variables (P <0.05), lymph node metastasis (P <0.004) and the degree of differentiation of the tumour (P <0.001).
Conclusion: These findings underscore the significance of VEGF-C expression in relation to oral carcinogenesis and lymph node metastasis, thereby highlighting its potential for being a promising target for antibody-based therapeutic strategies in Pakistan.

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