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Head Neck. 2014 Dec;36(12):1677-84. doi: 10.1002/hed.23514. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

p16 status, pathologic and clinical characteristics, biomolecular signature, and long-term outcomes in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas of unknown primary.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this study was to report associations between p16 status, clinicopathologic characteristics, and outcomes for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma of unknown primary (CUP).

METHODS:

Specimens of squamous cell CUP were reanalyzed. Human papillomavirus (HPV) status was determined by p16 stain. A tissue microarray (TMA) was constructed to evaluate biomarkers potentially prognostic in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

RESULTS:

A majority of the population (n = 26; 74%) was p16 positive (+). Prognostic factors benefiting survival were p16+ status (p < .0001), absence of macroscopic extracapsular extension (ECE; p = .004), younger age (p = .01), and higher grade (p = 0.007). The prognostic implication of worse overall survival (OS) with macroscopic ECE (p = .009) remained significant when limited to patients who were p16+ (p = .002). Exploratory TMA between unknown primary and controls suggested a biomolecular difference between squamous cell CUP and known-primary cancer.

CONCLUSION:

The majority of patients with squamous cell CUP were p16+, indicative of HPV association. P16 staining and ECE seem to be the most prognostic features in squamous cell CUP.

KEYWORDS:

concurrent chemotherapy; extracapsular extension (ECE); human papillomavirus (HPV); tissue microarray; unknown primary

PMID:
24115269
PMCID:
PMC3972378
DOI:
10.1002/hed.23514
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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