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This study aimed to link expression patterns of AQP1, AQP5, Bcl-2 and p16 to clinicopathological characteristics of oro-hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas.
Immunohistochemical expression of AQP1, AQP5, Bcl-2 and p16 was investigated in 107 consecutive oro-hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma cases. Molecular interrelationship and correlations with clinicopathological parameters and survival were computed.
AQP1 was expressed exclusively by a subgroup of basaloid-like squamous cell carcinomas. AQP5 was detected in 25.2 per cent of the samples, showing significant association with the absence of p16 and Bcl-2 (p = 0.018; p = 0.010). In multivariate analysis, overexpression of p16 was significantly correlated with favourable overall survival (p = 0.014).
AQP5 defined a subset of patients with Bcl-2-negative and p16-negative tumours with a poor clinical outcome. AQP1 was found to be a marker of a subgroup of aggressive basaloid-like squamous cell carcinomas. These findings suggest that AQP1 and AQP5 are interesting candidates for further studies on risk group classification and personalised treatment of oro-hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas.
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