Research Papers:

Expressions of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP), and osteopontin (OPN) at histologically negative surgical margins may predict recurrence of oral squamous cell carcinoma

Kalu U. E. Ogbureke _, Paul M. Weinberger, Stephen W. Lonney, Li Li and Larry W. Fisher

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Oncotarget. 2012; 3:286-298. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.373

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Kalu U.E. Ogbureke1,2,3, Paul M. Weinberger2, Stephen W. Looney1,3, Li Li4, Larry W. Fisher4

1 College of Dental Medicine, Georgia Health Sciences University, 1120 15th Street, Augusta, GA

2 Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Health Sciences University, 1120 15th Street, Augusta, GA

3 College of Graduate Studies, Georgia Health Sciences University, 1120 15th Street, Augusta, GA

4 Craniofacial and Skeletal Disease Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH, 30 Convent Drive, Building 30, Room 228, Bethesda, MD

Received: January 23, 2012; Accepted: March 2, 2012; Published: March 11, 2012;

Keywords: Oral Cancer, DSPP, BSP, OPN, MMPs, Tumor-Free Margin


Kalu U.E. Ogbureke,


Up to 50% of oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCCs) recur following surgical resections with conventional “histologically-negative” margins. Three members of the SIBLING family of proteins: dentin sialophophoprotein (DSPP); bone sialoprotein (BSP); and osteopontin OPN are upregulated in OSCCs. In this study, we aimed to correlate the expression of DSPP, OPN and BSP as well as three SIBLING-partners, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), at histologically-negative margins of OSCCs with tumor recurrence. Immunohistochemical analyses of the SIBLINGs and MMP expressions at histologically-negative margins of OSCC was carried out in a retrospective study of 20 patients, and the results correlated with tumor recurrence. Each protein was dichotomized as “present” (≥10% staining) or “absent” (< 10% staining). The Sensitivity, Specificity, Positive Predictive Value(PV+) and Negative Predictive Value (PV-) for recurrence was calculated for each protein, along with their overall diagnostic accuracy, calculated as: (number of true positives + number of true negatives)/ number of patients. OSCC recurred in 9 of 20 patients (45%), a ratio not significantly different from the estimated population recurrence rate of 50% (p = 0.664). Among the SIBLINGs, DSPP and OPN showed the greatest Accuracy with DSPP being more Sensitive (89%) and OPN more Specific (64%). MMP-9 showed the greatest overall Accuracy (80%), slightly less Sensitivity (67%) and more Specificity (100%), than either DSPP or OPN. MMP-9 showed a superior positive PV than either DSPP or OPN. The negative PVs of OPN and MMP-9 were almost identical, and inferior to DSPP. We conclude that DSPP, OPN, or MMP-9 expressions at histologically-negative surgical margins predict OSCC recurrence with MMP-9 being the preferred predictor. These proteins may identify patients who could benefit from more extensive resection, or from adjunct treatments such as radiotherapy.

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