TP53 mutations in head and neck cancer

Cherie Ann Nathan, Alok R. Khandelwal, Gregory T. Wolf, Juan P. Rodrigo, Antti A. Mäkitie, Nabil F. Saba, Arlene A. Forastiere, Carol R. Bradford, Alfio Ferlito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) arising in the mucosal linings of the upper aerodigestive tract are highly heterogeneous, aggressive, and multifactorial tumors affecting more than half a million patients worldwide each year. Classical etiological factors for HNSCC include alcohol, tobacco, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Current treatment options for HNSCCs encompass surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or combinatorial remedies. Comprehensive integrative genomic analysis of HNSCC has identified mutations in TP53 gene as the most frequent of all somatic genomic alterations. TP53 mutations are associated with either loss of wild-type p53 function or gain of functions that promote invasion, metastasis, genomic instability, and cancer cell proliferation. Interestingly, disruptive TP53 mutations in tumor DNA are associated with aggressiveness and reduced survival after surgical treatment of HNSCC. This review summarizes the current evidence and impact of TP53 mutations in HNSCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-391
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • TCGA
  • TP53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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