p53 expression and mutations in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: expression correlates with the patients' use of tobacco and alcohol

Cancer Detect Prev. 1994;18(3):197-208.


53 expression was assessed in 93 head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients using CM-1, DO-7, and DO-1 antibodies. Sixty eight percent was found to have positive nuclear staining. The frequency of p53 mutations were investigated in 13 patients using single-stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis of DNA fragments that had been amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). P53 gene mutations were analyzed by SSCP in exons 4 to 7 of 13 patients, and nine were found to have mutations in exon 4; two of these patients also had a mutation in exon 5. In the group of 93 patients, p53 overexpression was found to correlate with the patients' history of heavy smoking (p < 0.01). We also analyzed the drinking and smoking history of 71 of these patients by logistic regression analysis and found that heavy smoking correlates with p53 overexpression (p < 0.05), but heavy drinking was not found to be significant. However when both smoking and drinking histories were assessed together, a correlation was found (p < 0.05). Future work may indicate that specific p53 mutations are associated with patients who have a history of heavy drinking and smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Genes, p53 / genetics*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / analysis*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53