An Australian Retrospective Study to Evaluate the Prognostic Role of p53 and eIF4E Cancer Markers in Patients with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC): Study Protocol


Complete surgical resection of the primary tumour is a crucial predictive step for head and neck squamouscell carcinoma (HNSCC), because incomplete resection may lead to increase in the recurrence rate. Molecularcancer markers have been investigated as potential predictors of prognosis marker, to identify patients who areat high risk of local recurrence. This retrospective study aimed to determine the prognostic correlation betweenp53 and eIF4E expression and clinical characteristics, recurrence and overall survival. Forty eight HNSCCpatients were selected between 2006 and 2009 diagnosed at the Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, NorthernTerritory, Australia. Out of 48, only those 24 with negative surgical margins with hematoxylin and eosin (HandE)were chosedn for further analysis. A total of 77 surgical margins were obtained and subsequently analysed byimmunohistochemical (IHC) staining with monoclonal p53 and polyclonal eIF4E antibodies. Contingency tableand χ2-test were used to investigate the correlation between p53 and eIF4E expression and clinical characteristics,recurrence and overall survival of the HNSCC patients. The follow up period was 74 months (range 1-74 months).The Kaplan-Meier method was used to generate recurrence and survival curves. This is a first retrospectivestudy of Northern Territory patients, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Molecular study ofsurgical margins could help to identify patients with and without clear margins after surgery and help in choiceof the most appropriate adjuvant treatment for HNSCC patients.