Epidermal differentiation complex (EDC) comprises a number of genes associated with human skin diseases including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and hyperkeratosis. These genes have also been linked to numerous cancers, among them skin, gastric, colorectal, lung, ovarian and renal carcinomas. The involvement of EDC components encoding S100 proteins, small proline-rich proteins (SPRRs) and other genes in the tumorigenesis of head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) has been previously suggested. The aim of the study was to systematically analyze the expression of EDC components on the transcript level in HNSCC. Tissue specimens from 93 patients with HNC of oral cavity and 87 samples from adjacent or distant grossly normal oral mucosawere analyzed. 48 samples (24 tumor and 24 corresponding surrounding tissue) were hybridized to Affymetrix GeneChip Human 1.0 ST Arrays. For validation by quantitative real-time PCR (QPCR) the total RNA from all 180 samples collected in the study was analyzed with Real-Time PCR system and fluorescent amplicon specific-probes. Additional set of samples from 14 patients with laryngeal carcinoma previously obtained by HG-U133 Plus 2.0 microarray was also included in the analyses. The expression of analyzed EDC genes was heterogeneous. Two transcripts (S100A1 and S100A4) were significantly down-regulated in oral cancer when compared to normal mucosa (0.69 and 0.36-fold change, respectively), showing an opposite pattern of expression to the remaining S100 genes. Significant up-regulation in tumors was found for S100A11, S100A7, LCE3D, S100A3 and S100A2 genes. The increased expression of S100A7 was subsequently validated by QPCR, confirming significant differences. The remaining EDC genes, including all encoding SPRR molecules, did not show any differences between oral cancer and normal mucosa. The observed differences were also assessed in the independent set of laryngeal cancer samples, confirming the role of S100A3 and LCE3D transcripts in HNC. In HNC of oral cavity only one family of EDC genes (S100 proteins) showed significant cancer-related differences. A number of other transcripts which showed altered expression in HNC require further validation.