University of Oulu

Sundquist, E., Kauppila, J., Veijola, J., Mroueh, R., Lehenkari, P., Laitinen, S., Risteli, J., Soini, Y., Kosma, V., Sawazaki-Calone, I., Macedo, C., Bloigu, R., Coletta, R., Salo, T. (2017) Tenascin-C and fibronectin expression divide early stage tongue cancer into low- and high-risk groups. British Journal of Cancer, 116 (5), 640-648. doi:10.1038/bjc.2016.455

Tenascin-C and fibronectin expression divide early stage tongue cancer into low- and high-risk groups

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Author: Sundquist, Elias1,2; Kauppila, Joonas H1,2,3; Veijola, Johanna4,5;
Organizations: 1Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu FI-90014, Finland
2Medical Research Centre, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu FI-90014, Finland
3Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm 17176, Sweden
4Department of Physiology, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Oulu, Oulu FI-90014, Finland
5Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu and Biocenter Oulu, Oulu FI-90014, Finland
6Department of Otorhinolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki FI-00014, Finland
7Department of Research and Development, Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Helsinki FI-00014, Finland
8Department of Clinical Chemistry, Institute of Diagnostics, University of Oulu, Oulu FI-90014, Finland
9Northern Laboratory Centre NordLab, Oulu FI-90220, Finland
10Department of Clinical Pathology and Forensic Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio FI-70211, Finland
11Cancer Centre of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio FI-70210, Finland
12Department of Clinical Pathology, Imaging Centre, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio FI-70211, Finland
13Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine, Dentistry School, Western Paraná State University, Cascavel 85819-110, Brazil
14Department of Oral Diagnosis, Oral Pathology Division, Piracicaba Dental School, University of Campinas, Campinas 13414-903, Brazil
15Medical Informatics and Statistics Research Group, University of Oulu, Oulu FI-90014, Finland
16Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki, Helsinki FI-00014, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-01-17


Background: Oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC) metastasises early, especially to regional lymph nodes. There is an ongoing debate on which early stage (T1-T2N0) patients should be treated with elective neck dissection. We need prognosticators for early stage tongue cancer.

Methods: Mice immunisation with human mesenchymal stromal cells resulted in production of antibodies against tenascin-C (TNC) and fibronectin (FN), which were used to stain 178 (98 early stage), oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma samples. Tenascin-C and FN expression in the stroma (negative, moderate or abundant) and tumour cells (negative or positive) were assessed. Similar staining was obtained using corresponding commercial antibodies.

Results: Expression of TNC and FN in the stroma, but not in the tumour cells, proved to be excellent prognosticators both in all stages and in early stage cases. Among early stages, when stromal TNC was negative, the 5-year survival rate was 88%. Correspondingly, when FN was negative, no cancer deaths were observed. Five-year survival rates for abundant expression of TNC and FN were 43% and 25%, respectively.

Conclusions: Stromal TNC and, especially, FN expressions differentiate patients into low- and high-risk groups. Surgery alone of early stage primary tumours might be adequate when stromal FN is negative. Aggressive treatments should be considered when both TNC and FN are abundant.

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Series: British journal of cancer
ISSN: 0007-0920
ISSN-E: 1532-1827
ISSN-L: 0007-0920
Volume: 116
Issue: 5
Pages: 640 - 648
DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2016.455
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
Funding: This work was funded by Sigrid Juselius Foundation, Finnish Cancer Foundation, Orion Research Foundation, Paulo Foundation, Ida Montin Foundation, The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, Mary and Georg C Ehrnrooths Foundation, Thelma Mäkikyrö Foundation, Finnish Anti-Tuberculosis Association, Finnish Dental Society Apollonia, Medical Research Centre Oulu and research funds from the Medical Faculty of the University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital special state support for research. In Brazil, research was supported by grants from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico-CNPq, Brasília, Brazil (473825/2013-9); and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior-CAPES, Brasília, Brazil (AUXPE-PVES-570/2013).
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