Cyclin D1 and FADD as Biomarkers in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Jun;146(6):923-31. doi: 10.1177/0194599811435052. Epub 2012 Feb 8.


Objective: Cyclin D1 and FADD (Fas-associated protein with death domain) regulate the cell cycle and apoptosis, respectively, and are located on chromosome 11q13, which is frequently amplified in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). This study evaluates these proteins as predictors of clinical outcomes for HNSCC.

Study design: Historical cohort study.

Setting: Academic tertiary care center.

Subjects: Two hundred twenty-two patients with upper aerodigestive HNSCC.

Results: Patients with tumors that were strongly positive for cyclin D1 and FADD had reduced overall (OS; P = .003 and P < .001), disease-specific (DSS; P = .039 and P < .001), and disease-free (DFS; P = .026 and P < .001) survival, respectively. Together, the 2 markers effectively stratified OS (P < .001), DSS (P < .001), and DFS (P = .002). Strong FADD staining correlated with greater alcohol consumption and varied significantly with primary tumor site: 56% of hypopharynx tumors expressed high levels of FADD but only 7% of glottis tumors. Using Cox regression analysis, FADD and N stage were significant independent predictors of DSS and DFS, whereas cyclin D1, FADD, and N stage were independently significant for OS.

Conclusion: Cyclin D1 and FADD may have utility as predictors of long-term outcomes for patients with HNSCC. Further study is needed to determine if these proteins predict response to different treatment approaches or assist in selecting patients for multimodality therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cyclin D1 / metabolism*
  • Fas-Associated Death Domain Protein / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Survival Rate


  • Biomarkers
  • Fas-Associated Death Domain Protein
  • Cyclin D1