Recent studies have indicated hedgehog pathway plays a role in carcinogenesis of certain cancers. We investigated the clinical significance of its signaling components, including Sonic hedgehog (Shh), Patched (Ptch), and Gli-1, in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
By immunohistochemistry, we determined Shh, Ptch, and Gli-1 expression in surgical specimens from 40 patients with OSCC. The relationship between expression of these molecules and clinicopathologic variables were assessed by chi-square analysis. Statistical difference of survival was compared using log-rank test.
Ptch overexpression was associated with lymphatic metastasis (p = .028). Nuclear Gli-1 overexpression correlated with primary tumor size (p = .001), lymphatic metastasis (p = .011), and tumor recurrence (p = .008). Overexpression of Ptch (p = .020) or Gli-1 (p = .002) in OSCC indicated poor prognosis in the univariate survival analysis.