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Comprehension of the interplay of pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic stimuli in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) is crucial to understand tumor development, biological behavior and treatment response. Bcl-2 family proteins mainly regulate the apoptotic signal cascade. In some cancers, maspin seems to influence the balance between pro-apoptosis and anti-apoptosis bcl-2 family proteins. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential relationship between bcl-2 anti-apoptotic factor and the tumor suppressor maspin in LSCC. 31 consecutive patients who underwent primary surgery and post-operative radiotherapy for LSCC were evaluated retrospectively. For each case, immunohistochemistry assays for bcl-2 and maspin were performed. Data were also collected on N-status, pT stage, grading, recurrence and disease-free survival (DFS). Patients with nuclear maspin pattern of expression showed a significantly lower recurrence rate (p = 0.04) and longer DFS (p = 0.0018). The expression of bcl-2 was not associated with recurrence rate or DFS either in the whole cohort or in cases with nuclear maspin pattern, while in patients with non-nuclear maspin pattern, a statistical trend was found toward a shorter DFS for bcl-2 positive cases (p = 0.062). In the multivariate model, only maspin expression pattern retained its independent prognostic significance (p = 0.006). Nuclear maspin pattern seemed to be an independent positive prognostic factor, while bcl-2 prognostic value was related to maspin expression pattern. Further investigations are needed to support the use of bcl-2 inhibitors in multimodality or multitarget strategies against advanced LSCCs, also considering the role and expression of tumor suppressor genes. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Andrea Lovato, Leonardo Franz, Valentina Carraro, Luigia Bandolin, Giacomo Contro, Giancarlo Ottaviano, Cosimo de Filippis, Stella Blandamura, Lara Alessandrini, Gino Marioni. Maspin expression and anti-apoptotic pathway regulation by bcl2 in laryngeal cancer. Annals of diagnostic pathology. 2020 Apr;45:151471

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PMID: 31986422

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