Expression of copper-transporting P-type adenosine triphosphatase (ATP7B) as a chemoresistance marker in human oral squamous cell carcinoma treated with cisplatin

Hitoshi Miyashita, Yasutaka Nitta, Shiro Mori, Atsuko Kanzaki, Kentaro Nakayama, Kunihiko Terada, Toshihiro Sugiyama, Hiroshi Kawamura, Atsushi Sato, Hidehiro Morikawa, Katutoshi Motegi, Yuji Takebayashi

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69 Citations (Scopus)


An important clinical problem in the treatment of oral squamous cell carcinoma is the intrinsic/acquired resistance to cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Copper-transporting P-type adenosine triphosphate (ATP7B) has been reported to be associated with cisplatin resistance in vitro (Komatsu et al., Cancer Res 60, 1312-1316,2000). However, the clinical significance of this transporter has not previously been addressed. Our aim of this study was to investigate if ATP7B is expressed in oral squamous cell carcinoma and whether its expression correlates with prognosis and reduced responsiveness to cisplatin treatment. Biopsy tissues were obtained from the tumors of 70 patients with oral SCC, and 51 patients received cisplatin-based preoperative chemotherapy. We performed immunohistochemical analysis of ATP7B using monoclonal antibody against ATP7B in 51 oral SCC and adjacent neoplastic tissues. The significance of ATP7B in the prognosis of patients with oral SCC was also examined in the survival analysis of mortality follow-up data covering the period 1991 through 2000. We retrospectively examined the expression of ATP7B in primary oral SCC carcinoma and its association with chemotherapeutic effect. A variable degree of cytoplasmic staining of tumor cells was observed in 54.9% (28/51 cases) of the analyzed carcinomas. Patients with ATP7B-positive tumors had a significantly inferior response to chemotherapy compared with the patients with ATP7B-negative tumors (P=0.03). The patients who received cisplatin-based chemotherapy with ATP7B-positive carcinomas had a significantly poorer overall survival than those with ATP7B-negative tumors (P=0.015). These findings suggest that high levels of ATP7B expression in oral SCC are associated with unfavorable clinical outcome in patients with oral SCCs treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy. ATP7B expression may be a preoperative indicator for a choice of cisplatin in some patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-162
Number of pages6
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Feb


  • ATP7B
  • Cisplatin
  • Drug resistance
  • Oral squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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