Correlation between CD44+ cancer stem cell expression and histopathological types of nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Muhtarum Yusuf, Indriyadevi Indra, Sri Herawati Juniati, Yussy Afriani Dewi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) recurrency rate is still high despite patients receiving complete treatment. The response to treatment may vary depending on the type of histopathology and Epstein-Barr virus, however the mechanism remains unclear. Recent studies have found that there is a relationship between response to treatment and the presence of cancer stem cells (CSCs). CD44+ cancer stem cells may cause cancer cells to be resistant to treatment. Therefore, this cross-sectional study aims to determine the correlation between CD44 + cancer stem cell expression and the histopathological types of NPC. Method: Samples were obtained from NPC biopsies of type I, II, III patients (based on WHO histopathology criteria), who had not received prior treatment. CD44+ expression was examined using immunohistochemistry methods by staining CD44+ monoclonal antibodies. The degree of CD44+ cell membrane expression was based on the immunoreactive score scale or the Remmele index scale. Results: Most histopathological types were WHO type III (21 patients, 50%), followed by type II (18 patients, 42.86%), and type I (3 patients, 7.14%). CD44 + expression on type I showed one patient had moderate positive and two patients had a high-positive expression. In type II, 10 were moderate positive and eight were high-positive. In type III, one patient was low-positive, 11 were moderate positive and nine patients were high-positive. Statistical analysis showed that the CD44+ expression difference between the three histopathology types were not statistically significant. Conclusion: There were no correlations between CD44 + expression and histopathological type of NPC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number678
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • CD44 +
  • Cancer
  • Histopathology
  • NPC stem cells
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma


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