TP53 is the most frequently altered gene in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), with mutations occurring in over two thirds of cases; however, the predictive response of these mutations to cisplatin-based therapy remains elusive. In the current study, we evaluate the ability of the Evolutionary Action score of TP53-coding variants (EAp53) to predict the impact of TP53 mutations on response to chemotherapy. The EAp53 approach clearly identifies a subset of high-risk TP53 mutations associated with decreased sensitivity to cisplatin both in vitro and in vivo in preclinical models of HNSCC. Furthermore, EAp53 can predict response to treatment and, more importantly, a survival benefit for a subset of head and neck cancer patients treated with platinum-based therapy. Prospective evaluation of this novel scoring system should enable more precise treatment selection for patients with HNSCC.
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.