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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1998 Apr 1;41(1):37-42.

Overexpression of p53 protein does not predict local-regional control or survival in patients with early-stage squamous cell carcinoma of the glottic larynx treated with radiotherapy.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



Nonfunctional or mutated p53 protein (m-p53) is found in a myriad of solid tumors in humans. m-p53 is believed to confer radioresistance through inhibition of radiation-induced apoptosis. This study was carried out to determine if the overexpression of p53 in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the glottic larynx treated with radiation therapy alone carried a poorer prognosis than normal wild-type p53 (w-p53) and could, therefore, be used as a marker of radioresistance in glottic SCC.


Eighty-six patients with early-stage glottic SCC (64 T1N0, 25 T2N0 by TMN stage) treated with contemporary radiotherapy techniques to doses of 50-70 Gy were analyzed. Aberrant p53 protein was detected by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining on archival tissue samples containing original tumor specimens. Analysis of prognostic factors and treatment outcome to expression of p53 was performed. All patients were carefully selected to have comparable sites of disease, histology, early-stage disease, and treatment delivered, thus increasing the power of this study by controlling for other independent factors affecting outcome.


Sixty percent of patients demonstrated overexpression of p53 in tissue samples. Accumulation of p53 was not predictive of tumor grade, stage, or smoking status prior to diagnosis. p53 status was not predictive of treatment outcome parameters including local-regional failure rate and disease-free survival rate. Factors significantly affecting treatment outcome were stage and dose of radiotherapy in T2 patients (50 Gy vs. > 62 Gy).


m-p53 protein detected by IHC staining was not predictive as a prognostic factor for clinical outcome following radiation therapy for early-stage glottic SCC. This is in general agreement with other recently published studies of laryngeal carcinoma patients treated with radiation or surgery. At the present time, p53 status should not be used as a marker for prognosis and clinical outcome in laryngeal SCC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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