Several laryngeal and thyroid carcinomas were studied immunohistochemically to evaluate whether the expression and distribution of integrins and basal lamina components can represent reproducible markers for correct early diagnosis and prognosis. In laryngeal cancers, the depolarization and pericellular redistribution of alpha 3 beta 1 and alpha 6 beta 4, and focal or massive fragmentation of the basal lamina, according to tumor prognosis, occurred. In thyroid carcinomas, loss of polar topography of alpha 3 beta 1 and neo-expression of alpha 6 beta 4 in histopathologically or clinically aggressive cancers were observed. Therefore, the addition of a panel of adhesion molecules to the toolbox of surgical pathologists may improve diagnostic and prognostic procedures.
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