Aim and background: The incidence and mortality due to oral cancer have increased worldwide. In India, the use of tobacco has been found to be the major etiological factor for the development of oral cancers. Various studies on serum p53 antibodies have suggested their clinical importance as prognostic markers in cancer. However, there is a dearth of data on serum p53 antibodies in oral cancer patients in India. The present study was carried to evaluate the clinical significance of serum p53 antibodies in oral cancer.
Materials and methods: The serum p53 antibody status was analyzed by means of ELISA in 55 healthy individuals, 60 patients with oral precancerous conditions, 75 untreated oral cancer patients, and 86 follow-up blood samples of the oral cancer patients.
Results: We found serum p53 antibodies in 23% of cancer patients. The frequency of p53 antibody positivity was higher in patients with lymph node metastasis, advanced disease and well-differentiated tumors. Furthermore, p53 antibody positivity strongly correlated with poor treatment outcome in cancer patients. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed significantly poorer disease-free survival in patients with serum p53 antibodies.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest the usefulness of serum p53 antibodies in the prognostication of oral cancer patients.