Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cancer. 2011 Oct 15;117(20):4659-70. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26100. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

Expression patterns of Bmi-1 and p16 significantly correlate with overall, disease-specific, and recurrence-free survival in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

Author information

  • 1Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland.



The objective of this study was to link expression patterns of B-cell-specific Moloney murine leukemia virus integration site 1 (Bmi-1) and p16 to patient outcome (recurrence and survival) in a cohort of 252 patients with oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer (OSCC).


Expression levels of Bmi-1 and p16 in samples from 252 patients with OSCC were evaluated immunohistochemically using the tissue microarray method. Staining intensity was determined by calculating an intensity reactivity score (IRS). Staining intensity and the localization of expression within tumor cells (nuclear or cytoplasmic) were correlated with overall, disease-specific, and recurrence-free survival.


The majority of cancers were localized in the oropharynx (61.1%). In univariate analysis, patients who had OSCC and strong Bmi-1 expression (IRS >10) had worse outcomes compared with patients who had low and moderate Bmi-1 expression (P = .008; hazard ratio [HR], 1.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.167-2.838); this correlation was also observed for atypical cytoplasmic Bmi-1 expression (P = .001; HR, 2.164; 95% CI, 1.389-3.371) and for negative p16 expression (P < .001; HR, 0.292; 95% CI, 0.178-0.477). The combination of both markers, as anticipated, had an even stronger correlation with overall survival (P < .001; HR, 8.485; 95% CI, 4.237-16.994). Multivariate analysis demonstrated significant results for patients with oropharyngeal cancers, but not for patients with oral cavity tumors: Tumor classification (P = .011; HR, 1.838; 95%CI, 1.146-2.947) and the combined marker expression patterns (P < .001; HR, 6.254; 95% CI, 2.869-13.635) were correlated with overall survival, disease-specific survival (tumor classification: P = .002; HR, 2.807; 95% CI, 1.477-5.334; combined markers: P = .002; HR, 5.386; 95% CI, 1.850-15.679), and the combined markers also were correlated with recurrence-free survival (P = .001; HR, 8.943; 95% CI, 2.562-31.220).


Cytoplasmic Bmi-1 expression, an absence of p16 expression, and especially the combination of those 2 predictive markers were correlated negatively with disease-specific and recurrence-free survival in patients with oropharyngeal cancer. Therefore, the current results indicate that these may be applicable as predictive markers in combination with other factors to select patients for more aggressive treatment and follow-up.

Copyright © 2011 American Cancer Society.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk