P16INK4a Immunostaining but Lack of Human Papilloma Virus Type 16 in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Basal Cell Carcinoma: a Report from West Iran


Molecular Pathology Research Center, Emam Reza University Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran


The tumor suppressor p16 is a biomarker for transforming human papilloma virus (HPV) infections that can lead to contradictory results in skin carcinomas. The aim of this study was to evaluate p16 expression and HPV-16 infection in the cutaneous basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). This case-control study was performed on paraffin blocks of BCCs and SCCs and normal skin (53, 36, and 44 cases, respectively), between 2006 to 2015. Initial sections for groups were stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H and E). Immunohistochemistry was performed for p16 expression and human papilloma virus type 16 (HPV-16) infection. Normal group was skin of mammoplasty specimens and normal skin tissue in the periphery of tumors. The mean age at diagnosis was 42.1, 61.7 and 71.4 years for normal, BCC and SCC groups, respectively. P16 positivity was more in SCC and BCC groups compared to normal group (P<0.05) and HPV was negative in all patients in three groups. Also, the mean age at diagnosis and P16-positivity were higher for the SCC group than the BCC group (P<0.005). In conclusion, in non-melanoma skin cancers (SCC and BCC), p16-positivity can be a prognostic factor but there is no correlation between HPV-16 and p16 in these tumors.