Background: The role of p53 and p63 proteins in the prognosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is still debatable. Our aim here was to investigate the relationship between the immunoexpression of these proteins with some clinicopathologic parameters of prognostic significance in OSCC.
Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections from 106 patients were used for study together with the following data: primary site, histologic differentiation, recurrences, metastasis, disease-free survival and overall survival (OS).
Results: In OSCCs, the positive rate for p63 protein immunoexpression (87.8%) was higher than p53 (52.8%). p53 expression correlated with metastasis. Tumors negative for p53 and with strong intensity for p63 expression had a significantly higher OS.
Conclusions: p53 overexpression is associated with a larger number of metastases and is correlated with a poor outcome as well as decreased intensity in p63 immunoexpression.