p16 protein expression is associated with a poor prognosis in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung

Br J Cancer. 2000 Jan;82(2):374-80. doi: 10.1054/bjoc.1999.0929.


An immunohistochemical analysis for p16 protein was performed in 171 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Sixty-two carcinomas (36.3%) were classified as p16-negative. p16-negative tumours in squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) were significantly more than those in adenocarcinomas (P = 0.039). There was no significant difference in survival according to tumour p16 status in patients with NSCLCs or in patients with adenocarcinomas. In contrast, of patients with SCCs, the 5-year survival rate of patients with p16-negative tumours was significantly lower than those with p16-positive tumours (P = 0.001). Especially, the survival of patients with p16-negative tumours was significantly worse than that of patients with p16-positive tumours in the early stage of the SCC, e.g. stage I (P = 0.005). Multivariate analysis showed that p16 status and nodal status were significant prognostic factors for the survival of patients with SCCs of the lung (P = 0.024 and P = 0.008 respectively). In conclusion, our study showed that alteration of p16 was one of the significant factors of a poor prognosis in SCCs of the lung, and that p16 might play an important role in some SCCs of the lung due to its high prevalence and prognostic value.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / chemistry
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16