Molecular Genetics of Head and Neck Cancer

Lyon L. Gleich, MD, Frank N. Salamone, MD


Cancer Control. 2002;9(5) 

In This Article

Molecular Determination of Surgical Margins

An analysis of the histologically negative margins from 25 head and neck cancer patients demonstrated p53 mutations in 13 of these patients. None of the patients with histologically and genetically negative margins recurred, while 5 of the 13 patients with p53 mutation in the margin recurred locally.[95] In another study, surgical margins from patients who underwent larynx cancer resections were tested for eIF4E status.[96] Of the 54 patients studied, 32 had eIF4E-positive margins. Of the 25 patients who recurred, 21 had eIF4E-positive margins. These studies show that histologically negative margins are not necessarily genetically negative and that genetically positive margins are more likely to recur. However, the relevance of this information in clinical management has not yet been fully elucidated.


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