SOX2 is a transcription factor related to the maintenance of stem cells in a pluripotent state. Podoplanin is a type of transmembrane sialoglycoprotein, which plays an important role in tumor progression and metastasis. This study aims to determine association of SOX2 and podoplanin expression in the progression of oral squamous cell carcinomas and to elucidate the association between two proteins. Label="METHODOLOGY">The immunohistochemical expression of SOX2 and podoplanin were evaluated in 60 cases of primary oral squamous cell carcinomas. The correlation between the SOX2 and podoplanin expression and the clinicopathological features of the tumors and the patient outcomes were assessed. RESULTS The expression of SOX2 was seen in 38/60 (63%) of the cases and the expression for podoplanin was seen in 45/60 (75%) cases. There was a significant inverse correlation between the expression of SOX2 and podoplanin with the tumor grade (p=0.002 and p=0.017, respectively). There was a high expression of SOX2 in 9/13 cases that presented with disease free survival. Survival analysis showed that a high expression of SOX2 correlated positively (p=0.043) with the disease-free survival. There was a significant positive association between the pattern of SOX2 and podoplanin expression (p=0.002). CONCLUSION A high expression of SOX2 was associated with better disease-free survival. The expression of podoplanin was associated with the degree of differentiation of the tumors. Analysis of these biomarkers can aid in the prognosis and treatment of oral squamous cell carcinomas.
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