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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 736438, 9 pages
Research Article

Expression Analysis of SPARC/Osteonectin in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients: From Saliva to Surgical Specimen

1Pathology Unit, Istituto Nazionale Tumori “Fondazione Pascale”-IRCCS, Napoli, Italy
2Head and Neck Medical Oncology Unit, Istituto Nazionale Tumori “Fondazione Pascale”-IRCCS, Napoli, Italy
3Department of Surgical Sciences, Section of Anatomic Pathology, Second Section of Oral Pathology, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy

Received 11 July 2013; Accepted 1 November 2013

Academic Editor: Franco M. Buonaguro

Copyright © 2013 Gabriella Aquino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, with approximately 540,000 new cases annually worldwide. The molecular mechanisms related to the pathogenesis of this disease are still poorly understood. The discovery of a molecular marker that allows the early detection of this cancer, which can be easily identified in biological samples, such as saliva, without intervening in advanced stages, is a challenge. Numerous studies have identified a panel of molecular markers differently expressed in OSCC and normal oral mucosa. In particular, it was found an aberrant expression of matricellular glycoprotein SPARC. SPARC is involved in normal tissue remodeling, regulating the deposition of extracellular matrix, but also in neoplastic transformation. In fact, aberrant SPARC expression was detected both in stromal cells associated with cancer and in tumor cells. The aim of our study was the evaluation of SPARC on a retrospective series of 119 OSCC cases and the validation of the obtained data on a prospective series of 27 patients with OSCC, of whom we have previously collected saliva, and smeared material. The obtained results were correlated with each other and with clinical pathological parameters at our disposal. The study demonstrated a prognostic value of SPARC, especially with regard to its expression in the stroma surrounding OSCC (P < 0.05).