Gender Difference in the Prognostic Role of Interleukin 6 in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Chih Jung Chen, Wen Wei Sung, Yueh Min Lin, Mu Kuan Chen, Ching Hsiao Lee, Huei Lee, Kun Tu Yeh, Jiunn Liang Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Interleukin 6 (IL6) plays an important role in immunoregulation and tumorigenesis in human cancers. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a malignant tumor of the oral cavity with a male predominant tendency and a poor clinical prognosis. Due to the relatively few cases in females, the gender difference of prognostic markers for OSCC is seldom discussed. Methods: In this study, we used immunohistochemical staining methods to investigate the associations between IL6 expression and the clinicopathological characteristics of OSCC. In addition, we collected 74 female and 263 male OSCC patients for evaluation. Results: High IL6 expression in tumor cells was significantly associated OSCC patient characteristics including female gender (P<0.001), high lymph node metastatic rate (P = 0.007), and poor tumor differentiation (P = 0.008). Tumor-expressed IL6 had prognostic role in male OSCC patients as defined by the log-rank test (P = 0.014), but not in female patients (P = 0.959). In male OSCC patients, high IL6 expression in tumor cells was associated with poor prognosis (P = 0.025) and a 1.454-fold higher death risk, as determined by Cox regression. Conclusions: High IL6 expression in tumor cells was therefore significantly associated with aggressive clinical manifestations and might be an independent survival predictor, particularly in male OSCC patients. © 2012 Chen et al.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere50104
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 21 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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