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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 838632, 9 pages
Research Article

CD163+ Tumor-Associated Macrophages Correlated with Poor Prognosis and Cancer Stem Cells in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

1The State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Basic Science of Stomatology and Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedicine Ministry of Education, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
2Department of Oral Maxillofacial-Head Neck Oncology, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China

Received 16 February 2014; Revised 5 April 2014; Accepted 6 April 2014; Published 6 May 2014

Academic Editor: Yi-Fang Ping

Copyright © 2014 Ke-Fei He 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.


Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) play an important role in the progression and prognostication of numerous cancers. However, the role and clinical significance of TAM markers in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has not been elucidated. The present study was designed to investigate the correlation between the expression of TAM markers and pathological features in OSCC by tissue microarray. Tissue microarrays containing 16 normal oral mucosa, 6 oral epithelial dysplasia, and 43 OSCC specimens were studied by immunohistochemistry. We observed that the protein expression of the TAM markers CD68 and CD163 as well as the cancer stem cell (CSC) markers ALDH1, CD44, and SOX2 increased successively from the normal oral mucosa to OSCC. The expressions of CD68 and CD163 were significantly associated with lymph node status, and SOX2 was significantly correlated with pathological grade and lymph node status, whereas ALDH1 was correlated with tumor stage. Furthermore, CD68 was significantly correlated with CD163, SOX2, and ALDH1 (). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that OSCC patients overexpressing CD163 had significantly worse overall survival (). TAM markers are associated with cancer stem cell marker and OSCC overall survival, suggesting their potential prognostic value in OSCC.