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Detection of p53 Protein in Oropharyngeal Carcinoma:  Prognostic Implications

María J. Caminero, MD; Faustino Núñez, MD; Carlos Suárez, MD; Pilar Ablanedo, MD; Jose R. Riera, MD; Francisco Dominguez, MD
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(7):769-772. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890190065015.
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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


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