To explore the value of E-cadherin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) expression in the prediction of cervical lymph node metastases in squamous cell carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx.
Immunohistochemical analysis of retrospectively selected cases.
The study population was composed of 95 previously untreated men with squamous cell carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx.
All the patients underwent surgical resection of the tumor and bilateral neck dissection.
Main Outcome Measures
E-cadherin and FAK expression in relation to nodal metastases.
Decreased E-cadherin expression was correlated with the presence of nodal metastases (P = .006). The combination of E-cadherin and FAK expression resulted in a superior accuracy in assessing nodal metastasis (P = .001). Histological grade was also associated with nodal metastases (P = .005). Multivariate analysis confirmed that these parameters were independent predictors of nodal metastases. In addition, the cases with decreased E-cadherin and increased FAK expression presented a significantly reduced disease-specific survival (P = .005).
The combination of the expression of E-cadherin and FAK could increase our ability to identify patients with clinically negative lymph nodes who are at considerable risk for occult metastases.