gms | German Medical Science

GMS Current Posters in Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (DGHNOKHC)

ISSN 1865-1038

The evaluation of resistance to apoptosis in head and neck cancer healthy stroma


  • corresponding author Magdalena Dutsch-Wicherek - HNO Klinik, Jagiellonische Universitaet, Krakau, Polen
  • Romana Tomaszewska - Klinik fur Pathologie, Jagiellonische Universität, Krakau, Polen
  • Jacek Skladzien - HNO Klinik, Jagiellonische Universität, Krakau, Polen
  • Tadeusz J. Popiela - Klinik fur Chirurgie, Jagiellonische Universitaet, Krakau, Polen
  • Lukasz Wicherek - Klinik fur Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe, Jagillonische Universität, Krakau, Polen
  • Eugeniusz Olszewski - HNO Klinik, Jagiellonische Universitaet, Krakau, Polen

GMS Curr Posters Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2006;2:Doc136

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: April 24, 2006

© 2006 Dutsch-Wicherek et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Metallothionein (MT) is a low-molecular weight metal-binding protein with functional roles in cell growth, repair and differentiation. MT is considered as a protective and an anti-apoptotic protein. The aim of our study was to evaluate the MT expression in head and neck squamous cells carcinoma histologically healthy adjacent tissue.

Materials and Methods: We have sampled 30 tissue samples derived from head and neck cancers and 30 samples of their clear surgical margins. Antibody recognizing MT-1 was used for immunohistochemical analysis.

Results: MT expression was revealed in 85,7% of head and neck cancers and was found in all tumor adjacent tissues. Statistically significantly higher MT expression was found in tumor adjacent tissue than in cancer tissue in cases with the presence of lymph node metastases. Generally, stroma responded to the presence of cancer by the expression of MT, even in tissues which normally did not express MT. Also, stroma adjacent to MT negative cancers expressed MT.

Conclusions: MT contributes in delaying cells from apoptosis, the effect of apoptotic factors released from cancerous tissues in our study might be counterbalanced increased synthesis of MT adjacent healthy tissues. MT might be a normal or protective reaction of healthy adjacent tissue.

Keywords: metallothionein (MT), head and neck cancer, clear surgical margin