Green salad intake is associated with improved oral cancer survival and lower soluble CD44 levels

Elizabeth Bradford Bell, Isildinha M. Reis, Erin R. Cohen, Turki Almuhaimid, Drew H. Smith, Faisal Alotaibi, Claudia Gordon, Carmen Gomez-Fernandez, W. Jarrard Goodwin, Elizabeth J. Franzmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Deficiencies in fruit and vegetable intake have been associated with oral cancer (oral cavity and oropharyngeal). Salivary rinses contain measurable biomarkers including soluble CD44 (solCD44) and total protein, which are known markers of oral cancer risk. This study investigates the effect of nutritional factors on solCD44 and protein levels to evaluate oral cancer risk and survival. We evaluated solCD44 and protein levels from 150 patients with oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma and 150 frequency-matched controls. We subsequently characterized the effect of food group consumption and these biomarkers on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Patients reported eating fewer servings of salad (p = 0.015), while controls reported eating fewer servings of potatoes (p < 0.001). Oral cancer patients who consumed at least one serving per week of green salad were found to have significantly lower CD44 levels than those who ate salad less frequently (mean of log2[solCD44]1.73 versus 2.25, p = 0.014). Patients who consumed at least one serving per week of “salad or other vegetables” had significantly longer PFS (median 43.5 versus 9.1 months, p = 0.003, adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 0.39 p = 0.014) and OS (median 83.6 versus 10 months, p = 0.008, adjusted HR = 0.04 p = 0.029). These findings suggest that dietary factors, namely greater green salad and vegetable intake, may be associated with lower CD44 levels and better prognosis in oral cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number372
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNutrients
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Cancer outcomes
  • Diet
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Nutrition
  • Salivary biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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