Aims: To study the expression of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) by immunohistochemistry and investigate its association with various clinicopathological parameters, including patient survival. Methods and results: This cross-sectional study was carried out on 60 histologically confirmed cases of OSCC. EpCAM expression was evaluated by the indirect streptavidin-biotin method and was then assessed semiquantitatively in terms of staining proportion, staining intensity and total staining. The immunoprofile of EpCAM was correlated with clinicopathological parameters such as gender, habit, tumour size, site, regional lymph node and distant metastasis, clinical stage, histological grade, local tumour recurrence and patient survival. EpCAM expression was found to be absent in normal oral mucosa. However, positive staining was seen in 51 of 60 OSCC cases and EpCAM overexpression in 11 specimens. Overexpression of EpCAM was associated significantly with tumour size, histological grade, local recurrence of tumour and patient survival. Conclusions: EpCAM serves as a potential biomarker of prognostic significance that could be used to identify patients at high risk and to predict patient survival. Moreover, EpCAM antigen represents an attractive target for immunotherapeutic approaches in a subgroup of patients with EpCAM-positive OSCC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine