The significance of tenascin-C serum level as tumor marker in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

C. Pauli, P. Stieber, U. M. Schmitt, M. Andratschke, K. Hoffmann, B. Wollenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work
16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Tenascin, an extracellular matrix glycoprotein, is transiently present in embryonic tissue, in benign granulation tissue, but also in several highly anaplastic tumors like fibrosarcoma, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. This study was performed to validate elevated Tenascin serum levels as a possible marker for head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). Patients and Methods: Tenascin serum levels were evaluated in patients with primary (n = 92) and with recurrent (n = 28) HNSCC. Patients with benign, non inflammatory ear, nose and throat diseases (n = 16) served as the control. The Tenascin serum levels were measured by ELISA (Aventis). Results: Serum Tenascin concentrations of patients with benign ENT diseases ranged between 0.37 and 2.19 μg/ml (n = 16, mean±SD: 1.23±0.59 μg/ml), of patients with HNSCC (primary diagnosis) between 0.05 and 8.75 μg/ml (n = 92, mean±SD: 1.81 (1.36 μg/ml) and of patients with recurrent HNSCC between 0.53 and 10.0 μg/ml (n = 28, mean±SD: 2.78±2.2 μg/ml). Conclusion: We found a significant elevation of Tenascin serum levels only in patients with higher tumor stages (T4 / UICC 4) (p < 0.01 / p < 0.1) or recurrent disease compared to Tenascin serum levels in healthy controls. Thereby Tenascin serum levels cannot be used clinically as a routine serum marker for the control of head and neck cancer. Further investigations are necessary to evaluate whether the measurement of Tenascin levels as tumor markers could offer additional information to the clinical outcome of patients with HNSCC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)3093-3098
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 09.2002


Dive into the research topics of 'The significance of tenascin-C serum level as tumor marker in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this