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ADAM8 in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: a retrospective study

Valerie Zielinski1, Markus Brunner1, Gregor Heiduschka1, Sven Schneider1, Rudolf Seemann2, Boban Erovic1 and Dietmar Thurnher13*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

3 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria

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Citation and License

BMC Cancer 2012, 12:76  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-76

Published: 27 February 2012



A disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAMs) have been associated with multiple malignancies. ADAMs are involved in cell fusion, cell migration, membrane protein shedding and proteolysis. ADAM8 has been found to be overexpressed in squamous cell carcinomas of the lung. A new study showed that ADAM8 is significantly overexpressed in metastasis of squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC).


We determined ADAM8 levels in the serum of 79 HNSCC patients at the time of diagnosis, in 35 patients 3 months after treatment and in 10 patients 1 year after therapy and compared the results to the sera of 31 healthy volunteers. We also constructed tissue microarrays to detect ADAM8 immunohistochemically in 100 patients. The results were correlated with the survival data of the patients to determine the diagnostic and prognostic value.


The data demonstrated that patients with high ADAM8 expression in the tumor have worse survival rates. We found that high ADAM8 serum levels correlated with high ADAM8 expression in tumor samples. Soluble ADAM8 levels did not show any prognostic or diagnostic properties.


In summary ADAM8 expression is a prognostic factor for survival of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

ADAM8; Squamous cell carcinoma; Head and neck