Objectives The aims of our study were to determine levels of trefoil factor (TFF) peptides in saliva and oral mucosal tissues from patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), and to evaluate whether individual members of TFFs (TFF1, TFF2, and TFF3) might act as biomarkers of disease. Materials and methods Saliva samples were from 23 healthy subjects and 23 OSCC patients. Tissue samples were collected from 32 normal oral mucosa (NOM) and 32 OSCC biopsy specimens. ELISA and immunohistochemical methods were used to evaluate the expression of TFF1, TFF2, and TFF3 in saliva and oral mucosal tissues, respectively. Results Expression of TFF2 and TFF3 in oral mucosal tissues of OSCC patients was strongly downregulated when compared to healthy subjects (p < 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). However, there were no differences in levels of salivary TFF concentrations between OSCC patients and healthy subjects. Conclusions The present study extends previous observations, demonstrating the reduction of TFF2 and TFF3 expression in oral mucosal tissues of OSCC patients. Clinical relevance These findings suggest the clinical significance of TFF2 and TFF3 molecules as negative markers of tumor progression in OSCC. Quantification of TFF levels in saliva may not be optimal in terms of diagnostic or predictive value for OSCC derived from oral mucosa.
Clinical Oral Investigations, 2012, Vol 16, Issue 6, p. 1549-56