Purpose. The p53 tumor-suppressor gene has been documented to exist in mutated forms in many types of squamous cell carcinoma in the body. Also in conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma, human papillomavirus (HPV) is accepted as an oncogenic factor. The objective of our study was to establish a correlation between p53 overexpression and the presence of HPV infection within tumor tissues from patients with conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma.
Methods. Tissue sections obtained from paraffin-embedded conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma specimens from 23 patients were examined with light microscopy, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and immunohistochemistry.
Results. Seventy-eight percent of tumors were positive for p53, whereas 22% were positive for HPV. The proportion of patients positive for both p53 and HPV was 17%, whereas another 17% of the patients were negative for both p53 and HPV. Therefore no significant disproportion was found in the distribution of patients' HPV status and p53 status (p = 1.00). No significant correlation or linear association was found between the HPV status and p53 status (r = 0.022;p = 0.920).
Conclusion. We could not show any statistical association between abnormal p53 gene-product expression by immunohistochemistry in conjunctival squamous cell carcinomas and HPV infection by PCR detection techniques.