Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 2001; 25(5):496-501.

Prognostic Impact of Ets-1 Overexpression in Betel and Tobacco Related Oral Cancer

Prerna Pande, PhD,a Shilpi Soni, MS,c,a Nitin Chakravarti, MSc,a Meera Mathur, MD,b Nootan K. Shukia, MS,c and Ranju Ralhan, PhDa

aDepartments of Biochemistry and bPathology, and cSurgical Oncology Unit, Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to Ranju Ralhan, PhD, All India Institute of Medical Sciences. New Delhi 110029, India.

ABSTRACT In oral squamous cell carcinoma (5CC), the presence of lymph node metastasis is one of the most important prognostic factors, correlating locoregional spread, recurrence, distant metastasis and survival. However, the biological factors implicated and the mechanisms underlying these events are not completely elucidated. We reported Ets-l expression in oral SCC and proposed that it may serve as a plausible marker of invasive potential and lymph node metastasis. Herein, we investigate the prognostic significance of Ets-l expression in oral cancer. One hundred oral SCCs assessed for Ets-l expression showed significant association with tumor stage (P = .027), lymph node involvement (P < 106) and distant organ metastasis (P = .007). The transcription factor Ets1 regulates the expression of several genes involved in extracellular matrix remodeling that may account for its association with lymph node and distant organ metastasis. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis entailed significant association of Ets-l expression in oral SCCs with reduced disease free survival (P = .0041), suggesting its utility as a prognosticator for oral cancer. In conclusion, these findings underscore the role of Ets-l in oral tumor invasion and metastasis and may thus account for its association with diminished disease free survival.

KEY WORDS: Ets-1, prognosticator, oral cancer.