Changes in p16INK4 Protein Expression During Cervical Cancer Progression and Correlation to HPV Infection

Arwa Al-Shwaikh, Ismail Latif, Saad Kadhim


Aim: Recent studies have shown that the protein level of cell cycle regulator p16 is overexpressed in high-risk HPV-related squamous cell carcinomas as well as their precursor lesions. The aim of this study was to compare the different p16 immunoexpression patterns in different cervical lesions in relation to HPV status.

Materials and Methods: A total of 80 cervical tissue samples were included in this study. Seventy archival tissue biopsy samples comprised a risk group for HPV infection and/or cervical neoplasia; these were selected from the histopathology files of Al-Kadhimiya Teaching Hospital, Al-Ulwiya Teaching Hospital, Al-Yarmouk Hospital, the Medical City Department of Teaching Laboratories, and four private laboratories. The remaining 10 normal postmortem tissue biopsies were obtained from the Institute of Forensic Medicine and considered as a control group. Immunohistochemistry was done for detection p16.

Results: A significant correlation was found between p16 expression and the progression of the disease (p < 0.01). A significant difference (P < 0.01) was found in the mean of p16 immunostaining between HPV-positive and negative groups in CIN II/III and ISCC.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that p16 immunohistochemical evaluation could be useful as a biomarker for the progressive malignancy in cervical lesions.


Uterine cervix, p16, IHC, HPV

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