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Decreased P27 protein expression is correlated with the progression and poor prognosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Qingping Jiang13, Huiling Yang14, Chao Cheng35, Hanzhen Xiong1, Shaoyan Liu1, Jie Long2, Yajie Zhang2, Weiyi Fang3* and Zhen Liu23*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, the Third Affiliated Hospital, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510150, PR China

2 Department of Pathology, Basic school, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510000, PR China

3 Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, PR China

4 School of Pharmacy, Guangdong Medical College, Dongguan 523808, PR China

5 Pediatric Center, Southern Medical University Zhujiang Hospital, Guangzhou 51000, PR China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2013, 8:212  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-8-212

Published: 20 December 2013



To determine the correlation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (p27) expression with clinicopathologic features in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), including patient prognosis.


Real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry were used to examine the mRNA and protein expressions of p27 in NPC and nasopharyngeal tissues. The relationship of p27 expression levels with clinical features and prognosis of NPC patients was analyzed.


The expression level of p27 mRNA was markedly lower in NPC tissues than that in the nasopharyngeal tissues (P = 0.0006). Specific p27 protein staining by immunohistochemistry was found in the nuclei and cytoplasm of nasopharyngeal and malignant epithelial cells but decreased expression was observed in NPC samples compared to normal epithelium samples (P = 0.002). In addition, low levels of p27 protein were inversely correlated with the status of T classification (p = 0.002) and clinical stage (p = 0.019) of NPC patients. Patients with lower p27 expression had a significantly shorter overall survival time than did patients with high p27 expression. Multivariate analysis suggested that the level of p27 expression was not an independent prognostic indicator (p = 0.682) for NPC survival.


Low level of p27 expression is a potential unfavorable prognostic factor for patients with NPC.

Virtual slides

The virtual slide (s) for this article can be found here: webcite.

p27; NPC; Prognosis