Objective. - Mutations of the p53 tumor suppressor gene, with consequent nuclear p53 protein accumulation, are among the most common genetic abnormalities in human cancers. The purpose of this study was to determine the utility of p53 immunostaining as an adjunct to the diagnosis of malignancy in fine-needle aspirations of squamous lesions of the neck. Materials and Methods. - Using a monoclonal antibody to the p53 protein and a standard avidin-biotin complex technique, immunostaining was performed on paraffin-embedded cell blocks of 20 cases with the following cytologic diagnoses: (1) metastatic squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (7 cases); (2) atypical squamous cells, SCC cannot be excluded (7 cases); and (3) cytologic findings consistent with branchial cleft cyst (6 cases). Tissue or clinical follow-up was available in all cases. Results. - Five (71%) of 7 cases with an unequivocal cytologic diagnosis of metastatic SCC were positive for p53 protein. Tissue follow-up confirmed metastatic SCC in all of these 7 cases. Of the 7 cases with cytologic diagnosis of atypical squamous cells, 2 were negative and 5 (71%) were positive for p53 protein. Subsequent excisional biopsies in these cases revealed metastatic SCC (6 cases) and branchial cleft cyst (1 case). The squamous cells in all 5 cases with cytologic findings consistent with branchial cleft cyst were negative for p53 protein; tissue follow-up confirmed the diagnoses of branchial cleft cyst in 4 cases. In the remaining 2 cases excision was not performed, as the cystic lesion was completely decompressed and, clinically, no recurrences were identified at 14 and 8 months of follow-up. Conclusions. - Our findings suggest that p53 immunostaining is helpful in differentiating benign and malignant squamous lesions. While negative staining for p53 does not exclude malignancy, positive immunostaining may aid in accurate fine-needle aspiration diagnosis of malignancy in cytomorphologically equivocal squamous lesions of the neck.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine|
|State||Published - 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Medical Laboratory Technology