The expression and prognostic relevance of CDH3 in tongue squamous cell carcinoma

Miia Seppälä, Laura Jauhiainen, Sanni Tervo, Ahmed Al-Samadi, Markus Rautiainen, Tuula Salo, Kaisa Lehti, Outi Monni, Sampsa Hautaniemi, Olli Tynninen, Antti Mäkitie, Laura K. Mäkinen, Timo Paavonen, Sanna Toppila-Salmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


P-cadherin (CDH3) is a cell-to-cell adhesion molecule that regulates several cellular homeostatic processes in normal tissues. Lack of CDH3 expression is associated with aggressive behavior in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Previous studies have shown that CDH3 is downregulated in high-grade OSCC and its reduced expression is predictive for poorer survival. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression and prognostic relevance of CDH3 in tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC). A retrospective series of 211 TSCC and 50 lymph node samples were stained immunohistochemically with polyclonal antibody (anti-CDH3). CDH3 expression was assessed semi-quantitatively with light microscopy. Fisher’s exact test was used to compare patient and tumor characteristics, and the correlations were tested by Spearman correlation. Survival curves were drawn by the Kaplan–Meier method and analyzed by the log-rank test. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression was used to estimate the association between CDH3 expression and survival. CDH3 expression did not affect TSCC patient’s disease-specific survival or overall survival. Strong CDH3 expression in the primary tumor predicted poor disease-specific and overall survival in patients with recurrent disease. CDH3 expression in lymph nodes without metastasis was negative in all cases. CDH3 expression was positive in all lymph node metastases with extranodal extension. In contrast to previous report about the prognostic value of CDH3 in OSCC, we were not able to validate the result in TSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-728
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • CDH3
  • immunohistochemistry
  • lymph node metastasis
  • survival
  • tongue squamous cell carcinoma

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology (medical)


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