[Skip to Navigation]
July 1996

Detection of p53 Protein in Oropharyngeal Carcinoma: Prognostic Implications

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Drs Caminero, Núñez, and Suárez) and Pathology (Drs Ablanedo, Riera and Dominguez), Hospital Central de Asturias (Oviedo) and Hospital Valle del Nalón (Langreo), Asturias, Spain.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(7):769-772. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890190065015

Objective:  To demonstrate how the detection of p53 protein in formaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded oropharyngeal carcinoma may be used as a factor in estimating prognosis.

Setting:  University medical centers.

Design:  Validation cohort. Formaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx tissues from 106 patients who underwent surgical therapy between 1975 and 1988 were immunostained by using M-7001 antibody (IgG class).

Results:  Overexpression of p53 was observed in 46 tumors (43.4%). The detection of nuclear p53 was significantly associated with an increased risk of recurrence of oropharyngeal carcinoma (P=.05). Similar results were obtained when the presence or absence of p53 in the nuclei of the tumor cells was studied in relation to overall survival (P<.001). In a multivariate analysis stratified according to grade, pathological stage, and lymph node status, nuclear p53 status was an independent predictor of overall survival (P<.001).

Conclusions:  In patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, an accumulation of p53 in the tumor cell nuclei detected by immunohistochemical methods predicts a significantly increased risk of death, independent of tumor grade, stage, and lymph node status. The p53 overexpression appears to be a useful prognostic factor.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122:769-772

Add or change institution