p21WAF1/CIP1 expression is a marker of poor prognosis in oral squamous cell carcinoma

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BACKGROUND: Previous research on the prognostic relevance of p21 WAF1/CIP1 in oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) yielded inconclusive and contradictory data. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the prognostic significance of p21WAF1/CIP1 expression, its relationship to p53 accumulation, proliferation-associated proteins Ki-67 and cyclin D1 in relation to survival and clinicopathological features in OSCC. METHODS: Surgical specimens taken from 106 randomly selected patients were studied by immunohistochemistry. Expression of the protein of interest was correlated with clinical data. RESULTS: p21WAF1/CIP1 expression was found in 61.3% of OSCCs. Expression of p21WAF1/CIP1 significantly correlated with tumor size (P = 0.005), lymph node involvement (P = 0.002), clinical stage (P < 0.001), and tumor site (P = 0.002). Patients with tumors showing p21 WAF1/CIP1 immunopositivity had decreased 2-year survival (P = 0.018). Expression of p21WAF1/CIP1 was not related to age, gender, risk factors (tobacco, alcohol), dental status, or tumor differentiation grade. The p21WAF1/CIP1 expression positively correlated with proliferation-related variables Ki-67 (P = 0.010) and cyclin D1 (P < 0.001), but not with p53 expression. CONCLUSIONS: The expression of p21 WAF1/CIP1 was found to be associated with poorer prognosis and tumor aggressivity in OSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-279
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Oral Pathology and Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2005



  • Cyclin D1
  • Ki-67
  • Oral
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • p21
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Cancer Research
  • Periodontics

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