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Increased p16CDKN2A, but not p53, immunostaining is predictive of longer survival time in cats with oral squamous cell carcinomas

Munday, J.S., He, Yanyu, Aberdein, D., Klobukowska, H.J.
The veterinary journal 2019 v.248 pp. 64-70
DNA, cats, humans, neoplasm cells, neoplasms, prognosis
Although oral squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are common in cats there are currently few prognostic markers for these cancers. This study used 52 feline oral SCCs to determine if prognosis can be predicted by the age or sex of the cat, the presence of bone within the diagnostic sample, or the anatomic location of the SCC. Additionally, as p16CDKN2A protein (p16) and p53 are prognostic for human oral SCCs, p16 and p53 immunostaining was evaluated.Only SCC location and p16 immunostaining were prognostic. Cats with oropharyngeal SCCs had an estimated median survival time (MST) of 151 days which was significantly longer than cats with maxillary (51 days P = 0.017), sublingual (33 days P = 0.011) and mandibular (34 days P = 0.029) SCCs. Overall, 19% of oral SCCs were p16-positive with intense nuclear and cytoplasmic immunostaining within most neoplastic cells, 69% had cytoplasmic immunostaining that was confined to the periphery of nests of neoplastic cells, and 12% had no p16 immunostaining. Cats with p16-positive SCCs had a MST of 87 days, which was significantly longer than cats with p16-peripheral SCCs (MST 37 days, P = 0.03), but not longer than cats with p16-negative SCCs (MST 51 days, P = 0.72). No papillomaviral DNA was amplified from the p16-positive SCCs. Twenty (39%) SCCs contained immunostaining for p53, but this was not prognostic (P = 0.31). These results suggest that feline oral SCCs develop by cellular mechanisms that result in one of three patterns of p16 immunostaining. Cancers which develop due to these mechanisms appear to have different clinical behaviors and p16 immunostaining predicts the behavior of these common feline cancers.