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The prognostic value of p16 and p53 expression for survival after vulvar cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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  • Freja Lærke Sand
  • Ditte Maria Bjerno Nielsen
  • Marie Hoffmann Frederiksen
  • Christina Louise Rasmussen
  • Susanne K Kjaer
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The tumor suppressor proteins p16 and p53 have been suggested to have prognostic value in some human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers, however, this has been less well established for vulvar cancer. The aim of this review and meta-analysis was to examine the prognostic value of p16 and p53 expression status on survival after vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC). We conducted a thorough systematic literature search of multiple databases to identify studies examining survival after histolocally verified VSCC that were tested for p16 and/or p53. A total of 18 eligible studies were included. Using a fixed-effects model we calculated study-specific and pooled hazard ratios (HRs) of 5-year overall survival (OS). In the analyses of OS, we included 475 VSCC cases tested for p16 expression of which 38% were p16 positive. The pooled HRp16 was 0.40 (95% CI: 0.29-0.55). In addition, the majority of results from studies with adjusted analyses on the prognostic value of p16 indicated that p16 expression status could be an independent prognostic marker for OS in women diagnosed with VSCC, and the same pattern was seen for disease specific survival (DSS). We also included 310 VSCC cases tested for p53 expression of which 54% were p53 positive. The pooled HRp53 was 1.81 (95% CI: 1.22-2.68) indicating that p53 positive VSCC have a significantly lower 5-year OS compared to p53 negative. The results in relation to p53 reported from adjusted analyses OS and on DSS and disease free survival were more equivocal. This meta-analysis and review suggests that p53 and especially p16 expression status are of prognostic importance in women diagnosed with VSCC. This may be clinically important in the future design of targeted therapy and when planning the optimal follow-up strategy. Future studies should include the combined use of biomarkers such as p16, p53 and HPV status.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Volume152
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)208-217
ISSN0090-8258
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 56088820