Prognostic value of p16 expression in Epstein-Barr virus-positive nasopharyngeal carcinomas

Wen Jiang, Paul D. Chamberlain, Adam S. Garden, Betty Y.S. Kim, Dominic Ma, Emily J. Lo, Diana Bell, G. Brandon Gunn, Clifton D. Fuller, David I. Rosenthal, Beth M. Beadle, Steven J. Frank, William H. Morrison, Adel K. El-Naggar, Bonnie S. Glisson, Erich M. Sturgis, Jack Phan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background Overexpression of p16 is associated with improved outcomes among patients with oropharyngeal carcinoma. However, its role in the outcomes of patients with nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) remains unclear. Methods Eighty-six patients with NPC treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center from 2000 to 2014 were identified. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human papillomavirus (HPV) status were determined by in situ hybridization (ISH) and p16 by immunohistochemical staining. Results EBV positivity was associated with extended overall survival (OS; median, 95.0 vs 44.9 months; p <.004), progression-free survival (PFS; median, 80.4 vs 28.1 months; p <.013), and locoregional control (median, 104.4 vs 65.5 months; p <.043). In patients with EBV-positive tumors, p16 overexpression correlated with improved PFS (median, 106.3 vs 27.1 months; p <.02) and locoregional control (median, 93.6 vs 64.5 months; p <.02). Conclusion P16 overexpression is associated with improved PFS and locoregional control in patients with EBV-positive NPC. P16 expression may complement EBV status in predicting treatment outcomes for patients with NPC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1459-E1466
JournalHead and Neck
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
  • human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • nasopharyngeal cancer
  • nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • p16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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