RESEARCH ARTICLE


Predictive Role of p53 Protein as a Single Marker or Associated to Ki67 Antigen in Oral Carcinogenesis



L. Montebugnoli1, *, L. Felicetti1, D.B. Gissi1, F. Cervellati1, D. Servidio1, C. Marchetti1, C. Prati1, F. Flamminio2, M.P. Foschini2
1 Department of Oral Science, University of Bologna
2 Section of Anatomic Pathology at Bellaria Hospital, University of Bologna, Italy


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2008 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/), which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Oral Science, University of Bologna, Italy; E-mail: lucio.montebugnoli@unibo.it


Abstract

p53 over-expression has been proposed as a reliable marker associated to oral carcinogenesis, although only about 50% of oral carcinomas (OSCC) are associated with p53 over-expression and even p53-negative lesions can progress to OSCC. The aim of the study was to determine whether the combination of p53 over-expression and p53 low-expression associated with Ki67 over-expression (high Ki67/p53 ratio) could lead to a more sensitive parameter. Immunohistochemical expression of Ki67 and p53 was measured in 54 specimens from OSCC; 27 specimens from moderate/severe epithelial dysplasia; 32 specimens from oral leukoplakias without epithelial dysplasia, and 13 specimens with normal epithelium. p53 over-expression was found in 31 (53%) samples from OSCC, in 10 (37%) samples from severe dysplasias, and in 5 (15%) samples from non-dysplastic lesions, while the combination of high p53 values with high Ki67/p53 ratio was observed in 93% of OSCC, in 81% of dysplastic lesions, and in 50% of non-dysplastic lesions. This parameter may have a clinical implication to detect early lesions with an impairment of p53 pathway, and probably at risk of progress to OSCC.