Stress related hormones and their receptors have been involved with cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of β2 adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) by malignant cells in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and its correlation with clinical characteristics, outcome and patients prognosis. 106 patients with OSCC in clinical stages II, III and IV were analyzed for demographics data, clinical history, location, tumor extension, stage, treatment and tumor outcome. Moreover, we investigated the morphologic features, the histopathological malignant index and the immunohistochemical expression of β2-AR by malignant cells of the tumor invasive front. Chi-square test was used to analyze the association among β2-AR expression and the clinical or morphologic variables. The probability of overall and cancer specific survival in 5 and 10 years were calculated by Kaplan–Meier method and the prognostic value of the clinical and morphologic variables was obtained by Cox regression model. Most of the OSCCs (72.6%) showed the β2-AR expression in malignant cells. In OSCC, positive β2-AR expression was significantly associated with alcoholism ( p = 0.021), simultaneous consumption of alcohol and tobacco ( p = 0.014) and T stage ( p = 0.07). OSCC patients with positive expression of β2-AR showed higher rates of overall survival ( p = 0.001) and cancer specific ( p = 0.004) than those patients with tumors without expression of this protein. These results suggest that the β2-AR expression by malignant cells in the invasive front of tumor is a favorable prognostic factor in patients with OSCC and can be used as a target for new anti-neoplastic pharmacological strategies.
Conflict of interest: None declared.