Introduction: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has high local recurrence, partly caused by the lack ofclear margin identification on surgical removal of cancerous tissues. Direct visualization by immunostaining andfluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) in tissue sections gives more definite information about genetic damageat margins with appropriately selected biomarkers. Aims: To determine the usefulness of immunohistochemicaltechniques and FISH of the tumour suppressor TP 53 gene to identify microinvasion in marginal tissue sectionsand to relate the possible correlation between protein expression and genetic aberrations in OSCC cases inMalaysia.
Methods: Immunohistochemistry and FISH of TP 53 genes were applied on 26 OSCC formalin fixedparaffin embed (FFEP) blocks selected from two oral cancer referral centers in Malaysia.
Results: For p53protein immunohistochemistry, 96% of the 26 OSCC studied showed positive immunostaining at the excisionmargins. In FISH assay, 48.9±9.7% of the cancerous cells were monoploid for p53 probe signals, 41.0±9.5 % werediploid, and 10.2±7.8 % were polyploid. A correlation between p53 immunostaining and TP53 gene aberrationswas noted (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Immunohistochemical analysis of p53 protein expression and FISH of TP53gene could be applied as screening tool for microinvasion of OSCC.