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Dumitru, Claudia A.; Bankfalvi, Agnes; Gu, Xiang; Zeidler, Reinhard; Brandau, Sven and Lang, Stephan (2013): AHNAK and inflammatory markers predict poor survival in laryngeal carcinoma.
In: PLOS ONE 8(2), e56420 [PDF, 706kB]


AHNAK/Desmoyokin is a giant protein which has been recently linked to reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, cellular migration and invasion. Here, we investigated the role of AHNAK in the pathophysiology of larynx carcinoma-one of the major subtypes of head and neck cancer. To this end, we analysed AHNAK expression in tumor tissues from 83 larynx carcinoma patients in relation to overall survival. We found that tumoral AHNAK overexpression significantly associated with poor survival of these patients both in univariate and multivariate analysis. In further studies, we combined the prognostic value of AHNAK with selected markers of inflammation, such as macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) and tumor-infiltrating neutrophils (CD66b-positive cells). Both MIF and neutrophils have been linked to enhanced tumoral migration and poor clinical outcome in patients with orohypopharynx carcinoma-another major subtype of head and neck cancer. Interestingly, we found that synchronous high levels of AHNAK and MIF or AHNAK and neutrophils, respectively, were stronger predictors of poor survival than AHNAK alone. Synchronous high levels of all three markers were the strongest predictors of poor survival in our patient cohort. Taken together, our findings propose novel strategies for an accurate prognosis in larynx carcinoma and suggest potential mechanisms of inflammation-mediated tumor progression.

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