Charalabopoulos Konstantinos1, Mittari Evanthia1, Karakosta A.2, Christos Golias1, Batistatou A.3

Summary. In this review data regarding the regular expression and distribution of integrins adhesion molecules as well as some of their ligands in cases of squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx (LSCC) are discussed. Cancer of the larynx is one of the most common malignancies of the head and neck. Upon neoplastic transformation several alterations of the integrins adhesion molecules and extracellular matrix (ECM) components are observed, i.e. the loss of the normal architecture especially depolarization of some integrins, like a6b4, a3b1, a2b1 as well as the presence of a6b1 integrin in neoplastic epithelium. Furthermore, the upregulation of a5b1 integrin is a negative prognostic factor. In cases of laryngeal cancer, disorganization of the basal membrane components (laminins 1 and 5, type IV collagen, tenascin, fibronectin isoforms) which represent integrins ligands, is found. This is due to partial or complete destruction of the basal membrane, thus, permitting extravasation and migration of cancer cells. These phenomena are observed in a greater degree in tumors showing poor prognosis. It seems that damage of these adhesion complexes is important in the neoplastic process. So, further studies are necessary to establish the importance of these markers to early larynx cancer diagnosis and reach the decision on appropriate therapeutic strategies in the management of those patients.

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