Aim: Immunohistochemical expression of survivin was analyzed among the three histological grades (well differentiated, moderately differentiated, and poorly differentiated) of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
Materials and methods: The study material consisted of 60 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples: 15 cases each of well, moderate, and poorly differentiated OSCC and normal oral mucosal (NOM) tissues as the control. Survivin expression was evaluated immunohistochemically and statistical analysis of data was performed using Fisher's Chi-square and analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests.
Results: Survivin was expressed in all grades of OSCC, but absent in normal oral tissue samples. Poorly differentiated OSCC exhibited 51 to 75% immunopositivity (53.3%) and severe staining intensity (46.7%) for survivin, predominantly in nuclear areas. While moderately differentiated OSCC had 26 to 50% immunopositivity (40%) and moderate staining intensity (80%), 5 to 25% immunopositivity (40%) with moderate staining intensity (86.7%) was observed in well-differentiated OSCC. Overall, there was a statistically significant difference among the three grades of OSCC in relation to survivin immunopositivity and immunoreactivity (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: This study supports the use of survivin as a potent diagnostic and prognostic marker for OSCC.
Clinical significance: Increased survivin expression and its nuclear localization appeared to correlate with a higher grade of malignancy suggesting unfavorable prognosis.
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