Purpose: We report that the reactivity of a novel monoclonal antibody LpMab-23 for human cancer-type podoplanin (PDPN) is a predictor for a poor prognosis of tongue cancer. Patients and Methods: The association between LpMab-23-recognizing cancertype PDPN expression and clinical/pathological features were analyzed on 60 patients with stage I and II tongue cancer treated with transoral resection of the primary tumor. Results: In the mode of invasion, the LpMab-23-dull/negative cases were significantly larger in cases with low-grade malignancies and without late cervical lymph node metastasis, than in cases with high-grade malignancies and the metastasis. In the high-grade malignant cases, LpMab-23-positive cases were significantly larger than LpMab-23-dull/negative cases. The Kaplan-Meier curves of the five-year metastasis-free survival rate (MFS) were significantly lower in the LpMab-23 positive patients than in LpMab-23 dull/negative patients. The LpMab-23- dull/negative cases showed the highest MFS in all of the clinical/pathological features and particularly, the MFS of the LpMab-23 positive cases decreased to less than 60% in the first year. In the Cox proportional hazard regression models a comparison of the numbers of LpMab-23 dull/negative with positive cases showed the highest hazard ratio with statistical significance in all of the clinical/pathological features. Conclusions: LpMab-23 positive cases may be considered to present a useful predictor of poor prognosis for early stage tongue cancer.
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