p16 expression independent of human papillomavirus is associated with lower stage and longer disease-free survival in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma

Laveniya Satgunaseelan, Sohaib A. Virk, Trina Lum, Kan Gao, Jonathan R. Clark, Ruta Gupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is limited information regarding the incidence of p16 expression, its association with human papillomavirus (HPV) and prognosis in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The role of p16 in OSCC is evaluated in 215 cases using tissue microarrays (TMAs). p16 immunohistochemistry and HPV in situ hybridisation were performed on TMAs following histopathology review of 215 patients with OSCC in the Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute database. Thirty-seven (17.2%) cases showed p16 expression without association with HPV. p16 expression significantly decreased with increasing pT category (p = 0.002). p16 expression was associated with longer disease-specific survival on univariable analysis (p = 0.044) but not on multivariable analysis adjusting for depth of invasion. Amongst patients receiving adjuvant radiotherapy, patients with p16 expression had significantly longer disease-free and overall survival. p16 expression was seen in early stage OSCCs and was associated with better survival following surgery and radiotherapy. While not an independent predictor of survival, p16 may mediate its effects by contributing to reduced proliferative capacity, leading to smaller tumour size and lower invasive potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-448
Number of pages8
JournalPathology
Volume48
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • oral cavity SCC
  • p16 immunohistochemistry
  • depth of invasion
  • post-operative radiotherapy
  • prognosis

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