Pituitary tumor-transforming gene expression is a prognostic marker for tumor recurrence in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Christine Solbach*, Marc Roller, Frank Eckerdt, Silke Peters, Rainald Knecht

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: The proto-oncogene pituitary tumor-transforming gene (PTTG) has been shown to be abundantly overexpressed in a large variety of neoplasms likely promoting neo-vascularization and tumor invasiveness. In this study, we investigated a potential role for PTTG mRNA expression as a marker to evaluate the future clinical outcome of patients diagnosed with primary cancer of the head and neck. Methods: Tumor samples derived from primary tumors of 89 patients suffering from a squamous cell carcinoma were analyzed for PTTG mRNA-expression and compared to corresponding unaffected tissue. Expression levels were correlated to standard clinico-pathological parameters based on a five year observation period. Results: In almost all 89 tumor samples PTTG was found to be overexpressed (median fold increase: 2.1) when compared to the unaffected tissue specimens derived from the same patient. The nodal stage correlated with PTTG transcript levels with significant differences between pN0 (median expression: 1.32) and pN+ (median expression: 2.12; P=0.016). In patients who developed a tumor recurrence we detected a significantly higher PTTG expression in primary tumors (median expression: 2.63) when compared to patients who did not develop a tumor recurrence (median expression: 1.29; P=0.009). Since the median expression of PTTG in patients with tumor stage T1/2N0M0 that received surgery alone without tumor recurrence was 0.94 versus 3.82 in patients suffering from a tumor recurrence (P=0.006), PTTG expression might provide a feasible mean of predicting tumor recurrence. Conclusion: Elevated PTTG transcript levels might be used as a prognostic biomarker for future clinical outcome (i.e. recurrence) in primary squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck, especially in early stages of tumor development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number242
JournalBMC cancer
StatePublished - Oct 9 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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