The purpose of the study was to investigate the expression pattern of PDPN in SNSCC and to evaluate its role as a prognostic factor for survival outcome.

59 subjects with SNSCC were included in the study. We retrospectively collected the clinical features of these patients from medical records and retrieved the associated formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues for PDPN immunohistochemical staining. Furthermore, PDPN expression was analyzed in relation to the patients’ clinicopathological features and prognosis.

Staining for PDPN in both cancer cells and stromal CAFs were observed. Positive expression of PDPN in cancer cells of patients with SNSCC was significantly correlated with the primary tumor site and local recurrence. In addition, patients with PDPN-positive cancer cells had the significantly lower OS and DFS rates than did patients with PDPN-negative cancer cells (both p < 0.05). Multivariate analysis revealed that PDPN expression in cancer cells was an independent prognostic factor for both OS and DFS.

The study concluded through its findings that the PDPN overexpression may be both an independent prognostic biomarker and a therapeutic target in SNSCC. Further researches are recommended.