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Wiest, Irmi; Alexiou, Christoph; Friese, Klaus; Betz, Peter; Tuebel, Jutta; Goletz, Steffen; Dian, Darius and Jeschke, Udo (2016): Expression of the Tumor-associated Mucin 1 Epitope Analyzed with the Humanized PankoMab-GEX (TM) Antibody in Malignant and Normal Tissues of the Head and Neck. In: Anticancer Research, Vol. 36, No. 6: pp. 3179-3184

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Background: During neoplasia, glycosylation changes. In this setting, mucins, especially mucin 1 (MUC1), become carriers for oncofetal carbohydrates and relieve invasive growth. The recently described tumor-associated MUC1 epitope TA-MUC1 is primarily restricted to malignancies and is overexpressed in these tissues. The humanized monoclonal antibody PankoMab-GEX specifically recognizes TA-MUC1. Materials and Methods: Laryngeal cancer specimens (n=125) and normal tissue of head and neck (n=7) were used in this study. Paraffin-embedded sections were incubated with PankoMab-GEX. Staining reaction was carried out using peroxidase (POD) labeling and diaminobenzidine (DAB). Breast cancer tissue was used as positive control and negative control used non-specific mouse IgM. Semiquantitative evaluation by two independent double-blinded investigators, including a pathologist, used the immunoreactive score (IRS) of Remmele and Stegner. Results: A total of 31 out of 125 laryngeal cancer specimens were classified as G1. Of these, 22 (71%) were completely negative for TA-MUC1, the remaining 9 showed very weak staining, with an IRS of 2. A total of 94 cases of cancer specimens were classified as G2 and G3;34 of them were also negative, but 60 had an IRS of up to 9. All investigated normal tissue of the upper aerodigestive tract was completely negative for TA-MUC1. Conclusion: G1 tumors are completely negative or do not reach an IRS relevant range. The finding that G1 tumors are completely negative for TA-MUC1 or have IRS <= 2 can be helpful for histopathological examination, especially concerning tumor grading. Therefore, this antibody holds great potential for use as a therapeutic antibody in laryngeal cancer.

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