Expression of cell cycle proteins according to HPV status in oral squamous cell carcinoma affecting young patients: a pilot study

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Tobacco and alcohol consumption are considered the main risk factors for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC); however, the role of these factors in patients younger than 40 years is controversial, so it has been suggested that genomic instability and high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection may be contributing factors to oral carcinogenesis at a young age. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the immunoexpression of cell cycle proteins according HPV status in OSCC affecting young patients.


A tissue microarray construction based on 34 OSCC samples from young patients (<40 years old) was subjected to immunohistochemical reactions for Ki67, cyclin D1, C-ErbB2, p21, Myc, epidermal growth factor receptor, p53, and p16 antibodies.


The clinicopathologic features and the immunoexpression of all tested proteins were similar in both groups. Patients with HPV-related OSSC tended to have better cancer-specific survival (CSS; 39% vs 60% 5-y CSS), and overall survival (OS; 29.2% vs 60% 5-year OS). However, this difference was not statistically significant.


No significant difference exists in the expression of cell cycle proteins studied between HR-HPV DNA–positive and HR-HPV DNA–negative OSCC affecting young patients.

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