This study is designed to assess gene expression of squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCCA) mRNA to detect micrometasrases in cervical lymph nodes (LNs) of head and neck cancer. We examined the expression of SCCA mRNA in 12 primary tumors and 212 cervical LNs (101 LNs taken from 8 patients with tongue cancer, 71 from 7 patients with gingival cancer, 19 from 2 patients with laryngeal cancer, 9 from 2 patients with pharyngeal cancer, 7 from 1 patient with cancer of the buccal mucosa, and 5 from 1 patient with cancer of floor of the mouth). Detectability of metastatic LNs by nested and single reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was compared with semiserial sections (hematoxylin-eosin staining and keratin immunostaining). All primary tumors expressed SCCA mRNA. Of 198 histologically metastasis- negative nodes, SCCA mRNA was detected in 37 (18.7%) by nested PCR. Eleven micrometastatic foci in 9 LNs (4.6%) were discovered by semiserial sectioning. This suggests that SCCA mRNA is a promising tumor marker for detecting the micrometastases in cervical LNs of head and neck cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research