Tumor angiogenesis and p53 mutations: Prognosis in head and neck cancer

Poornima U. Hegde*, Amy C. Brenski, David D. Caldarelli, James Hutchinson, William R. Panje, Nancy B. Wood, Sue Leurgans, Harvey D. Preisler, Samuel G. Taylor IV, Leslie Caldarelli, John S. Coon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Objectives: To assess how p53 gene mutations and microvessel density (MVD) may be used as prognostic markers for the study and management of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas and to investigate putative associations between p53 gene mutations and MVD and the relationship of these factors to tumor response to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy at 6 weeks. Patients and Design: Thirty-nine patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, stages I to IV, who were examined at Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Ill, and its affiliated hospitals between 1993 and 1995 were monitored. Mutations in the p53 gene were identified by microdissection of tumor cells on frozen sections, followed by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis of the products of polymerase chain reaction amplification of exons 5 to 9. The microvessels were immunostained with monoclonal antibodies to factor VIII and/or CD31. Microvessel counts were done by 2 investigators blinded to each other's counts and to the p53 gene status. Intratumoral or peritumoral microvascular 'hot spots' were assessed and counts were done with an ocular grid in 3 x 200 fields of hot spots by each investigator. The mean of the highest values was considered. Statistical analysis was done with the Wilcoxon rank sum test, the log-rank test, and proportional hazard models. Results: Of the 39 patients, 13 had mutations in exons 5 to 9. Mutations in the p53 gene were associated with unfavorable overall (P=.003) and disease-free (P=.02) survival. A strong inverse relationship was seen between MVD and p53 mutations (P=.01). No statistically significant relationship was seen between mean MVD and overall and disease-free survival. The response to therapy differed significantly (P=.03) by p53 mutations, whereas there was no statistical significance with MVD counts. Conclusion: In this study a strong inverse relationship was seen between MVD and p53 mutations. p53 Mutations in exons 5 through 9 were associated with unfavorable survival, whereas MVD showed no association with survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-85
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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