Although many clinical and pathological prognostic factors such as tumor stage and lymph-node involvement have been described, to date no reliable or clinically applicable marker or tumor aggressiveness has been identified for head and neck cancer. In an attempt to identify such a molecular prognostic marker, we analyzed the mRNA expression status of ING3 by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. We also examined p53 mutation status and investigated its relationship with ING3, as well its clinicopathological characteristics. About half of the 71 tumor samples demonstrated downregulation of ING3 compared to their matched normal counterparts. Although most clinicopathological variables were not significantly related to ING3 downregulation or p53 mutation status, a significant relationship was detected in terms of overall survival between the cases with low and normal to high ING3 expression. At 5 years follow up, approximately 60% of the patients with normal to high ING3 expression survived, whereas this was 35% in the patients with low ING3 expression. Multivariate analysis also showed downregulation of ING3 as an independent prognostic factor for poor overall survival. These results reveal that ING3 would function as a potential tumor suppressor molecule and that low levels of ING3 may indicate an aggressive nature of head and neck cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research