Vol 50, No 3 (2012)
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Published online: 2012-10-08

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Expression of metallothionein I/II and Ki-67 antigen in various histological types of basal cell carcinoma

Andrzej Bieniek, Bartosz Pula, Aleksandra Piotrowska, Marzena Podhorska-Okolow, Anna Salwa, Maria Koziol, Piotr Dziegiel
DOI: 10.5603/FHC.2012.0048
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2012;50(3):352-357.


Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequent skin cancer, with many different histological subtypes.
Recent studies have investigated the expression of proliferative markers, but little is known about the
expression of metallothioneins (MT) in different histological subtypes of this cancer and their impact on proliferation
intensity in BCC. In this study, we examined MT-I/II expression by immunohistochemistry in 58 different
histological subtypes of BCC (38 nodular, six adenoid, eight infiltrative, and six metatypic cases) and correlated
its expression with tumor size and Ki-67 proliferation rate. Statistical analysis revealed no significant differences
in the expression of studied markers in regard to the histological subtype. A positive correlation between
MT and Ki-67 expression was observed for all the studied cases (r = 0.26; p = 0.049), but was even
stronger in the metatypic subtype of BCC (r = 0.85; p = 0.033). MT and Ki-67 expression did not correlate with
tumor size. In conclusion, it seems that metallothioneins may have an impact on the proliferation rate of BCC,
but further studies are required to determine whether MT may be a risk factor of recurrences.

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