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Expression of galectin-3 in adenoid cystic carcinoma of the head and neck and its relationship with distant metastasis

Abstract

Purpose:Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is one of the most common malignant tumours of the salivary glands characterized by multiple recurrences and distant metastasis resulting in significantly worsening prognosis. Galectin-3, a member of the β-galactoside-binding lectin family, has been implicated in tumour progression, metastasis, and found to have prognostic value. The aim of the study was to determine galectin-3 expression in ACC and correlate it with clinicopathological features and patient survival. Methods: Galectin-3 expression was investigated in paraffin sections of 35 ACC of the head and neck. Patients were divided into two groups based on a threshold of 5% positivity in the tumour cell population. The mean follow-up period for all patients was 90.1 months (range 3–300.1 months). Results: Seventeen (48.6%) tumour specimens were considered galectin-3-positive. Galectin-3 reactivity was significantly associated with regional and distant metastasis (P=0.045 and P<0.001, respectively). There was no statistical significance in the correlation of galectin-3 expression and disease-free survival and overall survival rate (P=0.095 and 0.102, respectively). Conclusion: Galectin-3 may be used as an indicator in the prediction of metastatic spread in ACC.

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Correspondence to Afshin Teymoortash.

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Teymoortash, A., Pientka, A., Schrader, C. et al. Expression of galectin-3 in adenoid cystic carcinoma of the head and neck and its relationship with distant metastasis. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 132, 51–56 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-005-0040-1

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Keywords

  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma
  • Galectin-3
  • Metastatic spread
  • Prognosis