Volume 14, Number 3, September 2002

Estimation of Serum Tumour Necrosis Factor-α and Correlation to Tumour Markers in Patients with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Hideo Kurokawa,1 Shinobu Takeda,1 Yoshihiro Yamashita,1 Takashi Nakamura,1 Tomoyuki Murata,1 Tetsu Takahashi,1 Hiroshi Fukuyama,2 Min Zhang,2 Hiroaki Ishibashi3

1Second Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu, Japan
2Department of Oral Pathology, Kyushu Dental College, Kitakyushu, Japan
3Second Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

Abstract
Objective: Estimation of serum tumour necrosis factor-α levels and correlation with tumour markers for the prognosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma before treatment.
Patients and Methods: Serum levels of tumour necrosis factor-α and 3 other tumour markers - carcinoembryonic antigen, squamous cell carcinoma antigen, and immunosuppressive acidic protein - were simultaneously measured in 38 patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma and in 36 healthy controls.
Results: The mean serum concentration of tumour necrosis factor-α for patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (14.1 ± 13.2 pg/mL) was significantly higher than that of healthy controls (5.2 ± 3.1 pg/mL) [p < 0.05]. The mean serum concentration of tumour necrosis factor-α was lower for patients who were pathological node-positive than for pathological node-negative patients. A significant correlation was observed between the serum tumour necrosis factor-α levels and pathological parameters. The mean serum concentration of tumour necrosis factor-α was also significantly higher for patients who had a good clinical course (16.7 ± 18.6 pg/mL) than for those with a poor clinical course (9.6 ± 5.9 pg/mL) [p < 0.05]. The survival curve revealed a better prognosis for serum tumour necrosis factor-α-positive patients than for serum tumour necrosis factor-α-negative patients. A significant correlation was observed between the serum tumour necrosis factor-α levels and the tumour markers, squamous cell carcinoma antigen and immunosuppressive acidic protein (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: An evaluation of serum tumour necrosis factor-α level in patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma appears to be a valuable screening tool for the prognosis and treatment of patients with this cancer.

Key words:
Tumour necrosis factors, Carcinoma, squamous cell, Tumour markers, biological, Prognosis

Asian J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2002;14:148-154.
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