Objective: Twist is an important transcription factor that induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition and therefore plays an important role in tumor progression. There are a few studies on Twist expression in salivary gland carcinomas. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the expression of Twist in the most common benign and malignant salivary gland tumors and to determine whether its expression was correlated with any tumor characteristics.
Material and Method: In this retrospective cross-sectional study, 45 cases including 11 cases of normal salivary gland, 12 pleomorphic adenomas, 12 adenoid cystic carcinomas and 10 mucoepidermoid carcinomas were enrolled. The mean and intensity of Twist expression were evaluated immunohistochemically and were compared using statistical analysis.
Results: The expression of Twist was higher in malignant salivary gland tumors in comparison with normal glands and benign tumors (p= 0.03). It was also higher in pleomorphic adenomas in comparison with normal tissue. Adenoid cystic carcinomas and mucoepidermoid carcinomas showed no significant difference in Twist expression (p= 0.50). There was no correlation with the size, stage or grade of tumor.
Conclusion: The findings showed that Twist might play a role in the formation of salivary gland neoplasm and also may affect malignant transformation and tumoral invasion. The exact mechanism of this marker and the possibility of using it as a therapeutic target require further investigation.