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Cancer Detect Prev. 2004;28(3):178-86.

Clinical significance of c-myc and p53 expression in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.

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Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


c-myc and p53 genes were frequently deregulated in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). To determine if the concomitant expression of the two oncogenes might have prognostic value, the survival and free disease time of 140 consecutive HNSCC patients followed up for a median time of 29.9 months was analyzed in the light of p53 and c-myc expression assessed by immunohistochemistry. Positive c-myc and p53 staining was detected respectively in 35.7 and 50.7% of the tumors. Double positivity emerged in 16.4% of the cases. Overall-survival of patients was not associated with the immunoreactivity of p53 or c-myc considered separately or grouped in subsets. Considering only the advanced stages, the concomitant expression of both oncogenes in tumors was associated with worse disease-free survival (P = 0.004) suggesting a role for p53 and c-myc genes in progression of this HNSCC subset. Clinical parameters (presence of lymph nodes, histologic grade and tumor width) remained important indicators of overall survival (OS).

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