Oral squamous cell carcinomas comprise a heterogeneous tumor cell population with varied molecular characteristics, which makes prognostication of these tumors a complex and challenging issue. Thus, molecular profiling of these tumors is advantageous for an accurate prognostication and treatment planning. This is a retrospective study on a cohort of primary locally advanced oral squamous cell carcinomas (n = 178) of an Indian rural population. The expression of EGFR, p53, cyclin D1, Bcl-2 and p16 in a cohort of primary locally advanced oral squamous cell carcinomas was evaluated. A potential biomarker that can predict the tumor response to treatment was identified. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor blocks of (n = 178) of histopathologically diagnosed cases of locally advanced oral squamous cell carcinomas were selected. Tissue microarray blocks were constructed with 2 cores of 2 mm diameter from each tumor block. Four-micron-thick sections were cut from these tissue microarray blocks. These tissue microarray sections were immunohistochemically stained for EGFR, p53, Bcl-2, cyclin D1 and p16. In this cohort, EGFR was the most frequently expressed 150/178 (84%) biomarker of the cases. Kaplan–Meier analysis showed a significant association (p = 0.038) between expression of p53 and a poor prognosis. A Poisson regression analysis showed that tumors that expressed p53 had a two times greater chance of recurrence (unadjusted IRR—95% CI 2.08 (1.03, 4.5), adjusted IRR—2.29 (1.08, 4.8) compared with the tumors that did not express this biomarker. Molecular profiling of oral squamous cell carcinomas will enable us to categorize our patients into more realistic risk groups. With biologically guided tumor characterization, personalized treatment protocols can be designed for individual patients, which will improve the quality of life of these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number138
JournalMedical Oncology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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