BACKGROUND: RCAS1 (receptor-binding cancer antigen expressed on SiSo cells) is known to induce apoptosis in its receptor-positive cells. The authors investigated RCAS1 expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and its association with the apoptosis of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). METHODS: In 130 patients with oral SCC, the expression of RCAS1 in tumor cells was immunohistochemically examined and the apoptosis of TILs was examined by Terminal Deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP Nick End Labeling (TUNEL) staining. RESULTS: RCAS1 was detected both on the cytoplasm and the membrane of tumor cells in 41 of 130 cases (31.5%). Focusing on the expression at the invasive front interacting with host immune cells, RCAS1 was detected in 22 of 130 cases (16.9%). The percentage of TUNEL-positive TILs in cases with RCAS1-positive SCCs was significantly higher than in cases with RCAS1-negative SCCs (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: RCAS1 can be expressed on oral SCC cells and may be involved in the tumor escape from the host immune system by inducing the apoptosis of TILs.
!!!All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes