Significance of promoter hypermethylation of p16 gene for margin assessment in carcinoma tongue

Parul Sinha, S. Bahadur, Alok Thakar, Ajay Matta, Muzafar Macha, Ranju Ralhan, S. Datta Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background. Loss of p16 expression by promoter hypermethylation has been reported as an early event in the development of oral cancer. The aim of our study was to explore the prognostic implications of presence of promoter hypermethylation of p16 gene in surgical margins in carcinoma tongue. Methods. A prospective analysis of 38 patients with resectable carcinoma tongue was carried out. DNA from tumor and the surgical margins was assessed by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction. Follow-up duration was 17 to 37 months. Results. About 86.8% of tumors showed promoter hypermethylation of p16 gene. Out of 30 patients with histologically free margins, 43.3% showed positivity on molecular assessment. Patients with positive molecular margins had a 6.3-fold increased risk of having local recurrence as compared to patients with negative margins. Conclusion. Promoter hypermethylation of p16 gene may serve as a useful molecular marker for predicting local recurrence in carcinoma tongue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1423-1430
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • DNA methylation
  • Margins
  • Methylation-specific PCR
  • Tongue cancer
  • p16 genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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