University of Oulu

Dourado MR, de Oliveira CE, Sawazaki‐Calone I, Sundquist E, Coletta RD, Salo T. Clinicopathologic significance of ROCK2 expression in oral squamous cell carcinomas. J Oral Pathol Med. 2018;47:121–127.

Clinicopathologic significance of ROCK2 expression in oral squamous cell carcinomas

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Author: Dourado, Mauricio R.1; Oliveira, Carine E. de1; Sawazaki-Calone, Iris2;
Organizations: 1Department of Oral Diagnosis, Piracicaba Dental School, University of Campinas
2Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Western Paraná State University
3Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine and Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu
4Institute of Oral and Maxillofacial Disease, University of Helsinki, and HUSLAB, Department of Pathology, Helsinki University Hospital
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-11-07


Background: Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase 2 (ROCK2) is an oncoprotein that controls cytoskeleton organization and acts as prognostic marker in different types of solid tumors. ROCK2 overexpression is also observed in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF), which suggests its relevance within the tumor microenvironment. This study aimed to access the prognostic value of ROCK2 in oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) and its association with CAF density.

Methods: Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase 2 immunohistochemical analysis was applied in 93 OSCC samples from 2 centers in Brazil and Finland. The samples were also stained for isoform α of smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) to characterize the presence of CAF in the tumor stroma. Clinicopathological associations were analyzed using Chi-squared test, survival curves were constructed according to the Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox proportional hazard model was applied for multivariate survival analysis.

Results: Advanced clinical stage (P = .002) and increased density of CAF (P = .002) were significantly associated with high ROCK2 expression. The high expression of ROCK2 was also associated with shortened disease-specific survival (HR: 2.22, 95% CI: 1.15–4.38, P = .04), but the association did not withstand the Cox multivariate survival analysis.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that high ROCK2 expression in OSCC is associated with advanced disease and follows the increase in CAF density, which may be important for tumor progression.

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Series: Journal of oral pathology & medicine
ISSN: 0904-2512
ISSN-E: 1600-0714
ISSN-L: 0904-2512
Volume: 47
Issue: 2
Pages: 121 - 127
DOI: 10.1111/jop.12651
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
Funding: MRD is supported by grants from the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel-CAPES, Brasilia, Brazil, and Medical Research Center, University of Oulu, Finland. This work was partially supported by grants from Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo-FAPESP, São Paulo, Brazil; and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico-CNPq, Brasília, Brazil.
Copyright information: © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.