Purpose The relationship between head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and subtypes of tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) has not been studied in-depth. In this study, we evaluated the expression patterns of TrkA, TrkB, and panTrk and their clinicopathological significance as well as association with p16 expression and human papillomavirus (HPV) status. Materials and Methods Total of 396 radically resected oropharyngeal (n=121) and non-oropharyngeal (n=275) HNSCCs were included. Immunohistochemistry for TrkA, TrkB, and panTrk was performed. In addition, p16 immunohistochemistry was performed to assess the HPV status. Using HPV-negative HNSCC cell lines, FaDu and CAL27, HPV type 16 E6/E7 gene was transfected, and then changes of TrkA and TrkB expression were analyzed. Results In the clinical samples of HNSCC, high expression of TrkA and panTrk were more associated with oropharyngeal and p16 positive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). In patients with completely resected (R0-resected) oropharyngeal SCC, high TrkA expression was related to superior overall survival and recurrence-free survival (RFS). In patients with R0-resected oral cavity SCC, high panTrk was related to poor RFS. In HPV type E6/E7 gene-transfected FaDu and CAL27 cell lines, increase of TrkA expression was observed. Conclusion It seems that expression pattern of panTrk and TrkA differed according to anatomical sites of HNSCC and was closely related to p16 expression and patient prognosis. Trk expression should be considered in the context of anatomical site, p16 expression or HPV status and Trk subtypes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research