Immunohistochemical Expression of Galectin-9 in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Sehrish Ahmed, Fouzia Shaikh, Faraz Ahmed Baig, Rehan Ahmed Siddiqui, Akhtar Ali, Nasir Jamal Baig


Galectin 9 (Gal9) has a diversified role in cancer pathogenesis. It induces aggregation of certain cell types and prevents metastasis. Recent evidence revealed its pivotal role in immune regulation. Limited literature is available on the expression of Gal9 in OSCC, and no data is available on its correlation with chewable tobacco products, which is the most potential risk factor of OSCC. Therefore, this research aims to reveal the expressions of Gal9 on OSCC tissue samples and identify its association with anatomical sites and risk factors, which has never been done before. This cross-sectional study was conducted on 126 OSCC diagnosed cases. Consent and demographic details were obtained before the selection of cases. The obtained data were analyzed statistically via SPSS version 20. Gal9 was positively expressed in the cytoplasm of (89; 70.6%) OSCC cases. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses of Gal9 displayed a statistically significant correlation of Gal9 with tobacco consuming habits (p-value 0.04), 51-60 years age group (p-value 0.013), anatomical location of buccal mucosa (p-value 0.03), with stage III cancer (p-value 0.009), and degree of tumor differentiation (p-value 0.035). Our results indicate statistically significant relevance of Gal9 with tumor grades and stages that indicate severe tumor progression and dismal prognosis. For the first time in the literature, we have revealed the significant relationship of Gal9 with chewable and smoking tobacco products and Naswar. These products hold great potential in the carcinogenesis of OSCC, which is the most prevalent tumor in our region. This merits additional research in this domain to draw a definitive diagnosis.

Keywords: Galectin-9, carcinoma, squamous cell, immunotherapy.

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