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Basal oxidative stress ratio of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas correlates with nodal metastatic spread in patients under therapy

Authors Dequanter D, Dok R, Nuyts S

Received 4 August 2016

Accepted for publication 11 October 2016

Published 9 January 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 259—263

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S118980

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati

D Dequanter,1,2 R Dok,1 S Nuyts1,3

1Department of Oncology and Experimental Radiotherapy, KU Leuven – University of Leuven, Leuven, 2Department of Head and Neck Surgery, CHU Charleroi, Montigny, 3Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Background: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a type of cancer that is strongly associated with oxidative damage and oxidative stress. Tobacco and alcohol – sources of massive quantities of reactive oxygen species (ROS) – have been clearly identified as etiologic factors that contribute to these malignancies. Considering the role of glutathione (GSH) in ROS detoxification, we hypothesized that potential biological markers can be found in addition to the parameters of oxidative stress. In line with previous studies that emphasized the accumulation of GSH in tumor cells, in this study, we have reported a lower ratio of oxidized versus reduced GSH in head and neck tumors.
Objective: The aim of the paper was to evaluate the prognostic and clinical significance of the ratio of oxidized versus reduced GSH in patients with head and neck cancers.
Methods: Thirty-six patients with HNSCC were included in this study. The tumoral redox status was determined by measuring the ratio of oxidized/reduced GSH (GSSG/GSH) by capillary electrophoresis. Statistical analysis was performed to assess the correlation between patient, clinical factors and the redox status.
Results:
The results showed a low tumoral ratio of GSSG/GSH and a better locoregional control. Moreover, a significant correlation between the tumoral redox status ratio (GSSG/GSH) and nodal stage (N0 versus N1, N2 and N3) was also observed. A higher tumoral redox status ratio was found to be associated with the presence of lymph node metastasis (N1, N2 and N3).
Conclusion: A strong correlation was observed between the oxidative status and locoregional control of the tumors. Moreover, a higher basal tumoral redox status ratio was found to be correlated with the presence of lymph node metastasis.

Keywords: oxidative stress, head and neck cancer, glutathione ratio, prognostic factor, lymph node metastasis

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