Oliver, R, Woodwards, R T M, Sloan, P, Thakker, N S, Stratford, I J and Airley, Rachel (2004) Prognostic value of facilitative glucose transporter Glut-1 in oral squamous cell carcinomas treated by surgical resection results of EORTC Translational Research Fund studies. European Journal of Cancer, 40 (4). pp. 503-507. ISSN 0959-8049

Hypoxia in tumours of the oral cavity has not been extensively investigated with regard to clinical outcome and prognosis. The expression of the facilitative glucose transporter, Glut-1, has been shown to be related to hypoxia in tumours at other sites. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between Glut-1 expression and clinical outcome in a series of oral squamous cell carcinomas. A retrospective series of 54 cases of oral squamous cell carcinomas with known clinical outcome and treated by one surgeon over a period of 6 years was used in the study. A representative section from each case was stained immunohistochemically with an antibody against Glut-1. The stained sections were then assessed independently by two observers using a semi-quantitative method. The relationship between these results and the clinical outcomes of local recurrence, regional lymph-node metastasis and disease-free survival were examined. Glut-1 staining was observed in most of the tissue specimens and all of the few sections with demonstrably necrotic areas histologically. Some showed more prominent staining in the epithelial islands of the tumour than others. However, the intensity of staining was variable. There was a significant relationship between those tumours which demonstrated intense staining and recurrence overall (χ2=6.18, P=0.032). This relationship was strongest in relation to regional lymph-node recurrence (χ2=10.19, P=0.005). A significant relationship between disease-related death and intense Glut-1 staining was also observed (χ2=11.67, P=0.002). In conclusion, the results of this study indicate a relationship between Glut-1 expression and disease progression of oral cancer and could indicate a need for neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy for those tumours demonstrating intense Glut-1 expression

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