Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Tissue Expression Level as a Predictor for the Aggressiveness of HPV-Associated Laryngeal Carcinoma
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Aim: This study was designed to evaluate the frequency of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection in patients with laryngeal squameous cell carcinoma (LSCC) through identification of the viral DNA using PCR analysis and to determine the tissue levels of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) as a trial to find a relation between HPV infection, EGFR expression and clinicopathological findings in patients with LSCC. Patients & Methods: The study comprised 32 patients with suspected LSCC; 25 males and 7 females with mean age 53.312.2; 25-72 years. Twenty males were smokers while only 5 were non-smokers. Patients were subjected to full history taking and clinical examination. Direct Iaryngoscopy was performed under light general anesthesia in the operating room for evaluation of the larynx and the entire' upper aerodigestive tract for accurate clinical staging, to determine the full extent of the local spread of the tumor and to obtain tissue biopsy. Cases were categorized clinically according to TNM classification and only cases with SCC were included in the study. Fresh tumor tissue specimens were divided into two parts, the first was studied and graded pathologically according to World Health Organization (WHO) and the second was stored at -70C until processed and examined by PCR technique for the presence of HPV-DNA and analyzed for EGFR expression. Results: Squameous cell carcinoma was detected in 29 cases (90.6%) and 3 cases were excluded off the study; 21 patients (72.4%) had lesions clinically staged as stage I, while 3 (10.3%) and 5 (17.3%) had lesions of stages II and III, respectively. Patients had Stage I lesions were significantly (p<0.05) younger than patients with stage II and III lesions and 9 lesions were detected in non-smokers. There were 23 (79.3%) glottic lesions, 2 lesions (6.9%) were supraglottic and 3 (10.3%) were subglottic and one case (3.4%) had an extensive squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx involving the subglottic region, the glottis and the supraglottic areas. There were 21 (72.4%) polypoid lesions and 8 (27.6%) ulcerative lesions. According to WHO classification, 14 specimens were type 1,9 specimens type 2 and 6 specimens were type 3. PCR could detect HPV-DNA in 16 (55:2%) specimens (viral specimens) and could not be detected in the other 13 specimens (non-viral cases). Three specimens of WHO type 1, 6 specimens of WHO type 2 and 6 specimens of WHO type 3 were viral specimens. Mean tissue expression level of EGFR was 37.732.2 fM/mg protein and was significantly increased in viral (54.727.8 fM/mg protein) compared to non-viral cases (16.824.6 fM/mg protein) and in specimens of WHO type 2 and 3 compared to those of type 1. Moreover, there was a positive significant correlation between the pathological WHO types and presence of viral infection, (r=0.568, p=0.001) and the tissue expression levels of EGFR, (r=0.720, p<0.001) and a positive significant correlation between tissue expression of EGFR and the presence of viral infection, (r=0.595, P=0.001).