Medical Journal of Zambia

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Immunohistochemical Expression of Vitamin-D Receptor in Oral and Skin Squamous Cell Carcinoma of a Black African Subpopulation

A.O. Adisa, SE Udeabor, GO Ogun, A Orlowska, RA Sader, S Ghanaati


Objective: The nuclear vitamin D receptor (VDR) is involved in multiple pathways that have a role to play in the biology of cancer. Recent evidence indicates that the active form of vitamin D (1alpha, 25-dihydroxycholecalciferol) (VD) exhibits several anti-growth effects. Thus it is useful as an antineoplastic agent in several human malignancies. We aim to analyze the expression of VDR in skin and oral squamous cell carcinomas (skin SCC and OSCC) from a black African sub-population to determine potential for active VD therapy in such patients.
Design: Nineteen formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) blocks of OSCC and 15 Skin SCC FFPE were prepared for Abcam Rabbit polyclonal Anti- Vitamin D Receptor antibody ChIP Grade (ab3508). Nuclear brown staining was considered as positive for VDR. The Sinicrope scoring method was used to evaluate the stained epithelial cells. All slides were viewed with a Nikon ECLIPSE 80i microscope and microphotographs recorded.
Results: Among 15 moderately differentiated OSCC 7 (46.7%) showed moderate to strong positivity for VDR, while 8 were weak or negative for VDR. Among 10 well-differentiated SCC of the skin, 8 (80%) cases showed moderate to strong VDR positivity, while 2 cases showed weak expression. Overall, approximately the same number of OSCC (9 cases) and Skin SCC (10 cases) expressed moderate to strong positivity for VDR.
Conclusion: In our study, we noted that the OSCC and skin SCC have similar number of cases expressing moderate to strong positive staining for VDR. Thus we suggest that the chemotherapeutic role already established for VD is of relevance in OSCC and skin SCC in black Africans.

AJOL African Journals Online