To investigate the role of desmocollin 3 expression in radiation sensitivity and survival in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
Tissue samples of 40 patients undergoing primary radiotherapy were stained for desmocollin 3, a transmembrane desmosomal protein. The protein expression was determined by immunohistochemistry. A retrospective chart review was performed to assess overall survival, radiation sensitivity, and disease-free interval.
18 of 40 patients showed desmocollin 3 immunoreactivity. 78 % (14/18) showed radiation sensitivity in the desmocollin 3 positive group, whereas 59 % (13/22) underwent remission in the desmocollin 3 negative group (p = 0.2). The median overall and disease-free survival time was 21 and 26 months, respectively. Univariate and multivariable Cox regression models revealed no statistically significant hazard ratios.
In this cohort of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, we found no evidence for a predictive potential of desmocollin 3.