Centrosome abnormalities in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
CONCLUSIONS: Numerical and structural centrosome abnormalities play a critical role in the tumor progression of in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and may provide useful information as a prognostic factor for these patients. OBJECTIVES: Centrosome alterations are often linked with aneuploidy, cell transformation, and tumor progress. We investigated centrosome abnormalities in HNSCC and correlated these variables to clinicopathological parameters and clinical follow up data of the patients. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of numerical and structural alterations of centrosomes in tumor tissues and corresponding normal epithelium (n=50 and 31, respectively). Immunohistochemistry was performed using an anti-gamma-tubulin antibody. Image acquisition was done by an Orthoplan microscope, centrosomes were segmented interactively, and area as well as mean optical density was measured. Aneuploidy was evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization in a subset of cases (n=29). RESULTS: Numerical and structural centrosome abnormalities differed significantly between normal squamous epithelium and tumor cells (both P<0.0001). Especially numerical centrosome abnormalities were significantly associated with T category and tumor stage (both P<0.0001) and the occurrence of distant metastasis (P=0.002 and P=0.019, respectively). Numerical centrosome abnormalities correlated also with disease free survival of the patients (P=0.032) as well as shorter overall survival (P=0.003).