Résumé : BACKGROUND: Eighty percent of hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma patients have advanced stages (III and IV) of the disease, and biological markers are required to predict high-risk head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients in need of highly aggressive treatments after surgery to improve the survival rate. We analyzed the potential prognostic value of galectin 7 in a series of 81 stage IV hypopharyngeal SCCs because galectin 7 is an emerging marker involved in the epidermal development of pluristratified epithelia and in epidermal cell migration. METHODS: The immunohistochemical expression of galectin 7 was determined on a series of 81 stage IV hypopharyngeal SCCs and was compared with that of galectins 1 and 3. RESULTS: High levels of galectin 7 expression were associated with rapid recurrence rates and dismal prognoses in these 81 stage IV hypopharyngeal SCCs, a feature not observed with galectin 3 and one observed weakly, if at all, with galectin 1. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that the immunohistochemical determination of galectin 7 expression in the case of high-risk hypopharyngeal cancers is a meaningful tool to identify patients who should benefit from aggressive postsurgical adjuvant therapy after surgery, including not only radiotherapy, but also chemotherapy.