PloS one

Valosin-containing protein (VCP/p97)-expression correlates with prognosis of HPV- negative oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).

PMID 25463965


Valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97 has been shown to be associated with antiapoptotic function via activation of the nuclear factor-[Formula: see text]B (NF[Formula: see text]B) signaling pathway and with metastasizing of tumors in several studies. VCP is located on chromosome 9p13-p12, a region often deleted in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The clinical significance of VCP expression in OSCC however remains unclear. In this study, expression of VCP was determined in 106 patients (77 male (71.3%) and 31 female (28.7%); age-range: 34-79 years (mean age 57 years)) by immunohistochemistry and in a subset of 15 patients by quantitative PCR. HPV-DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction and p16INK4a immunohistochemistry. The experimental findings were correlated with clinico-pathological data and survival parameters. 47.2% of all OSCC specimens were analyzed as negative or weak staining intensity for VCP. 52.8% of all specimens showed a high staining intensity for VCP. 73.1% of all patients were tested HPV-negative, 26.9% were HPV-positive. The 5-year disease-free and overall survival probabilities of all patients were 71.2% and 55.7%, respectively. No correlation could be found between HPV-status and VCP expression. VCP overexpression in HPV-negative patients was associated with significantly better 5-year disease-free survival (86.4% vs., 45.6%, p = 0.017). The level of VCP-intensity determined by immunohistochemistry could be an additional prognostic marker in HPV-negative OSCC. VCP expression seems not to correlate with the HPV-status.