One of the major handicaps in contemporary clinical oncology is the inability to predict the responsiveness of any individual's malignancy to specific therapies. The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility of immunocytochemically detecting markers that may be affected by therapy or are predictive of therapeutic responsiveness, including phosphohistone H1 (anti-p-H1 MoAb 12D11) and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) in small samples obtained via fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy procedure, thus improving therapeutic monitoring. p63, a squamous stem cell regulatory protein, was also examined. These three markers were studied in FNA cell block samples of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Twenty-eight alcohol-fixed formalin-postfixed paraffin-embedded cell-block samples from FNAs of patients with HNSCC were subjected to antigen retrieval and then incubated with anti-XIAP, anti-p-H1, and anti-p63, and developed using EnVision-Plus reagents and diaminobenzidine as chromagen; Granular or heterogeneous cytoplasmic staining for XIAP and nuclear staining for p63 and p-H1 were considered positive. Among the 28 cases studied, the overall positive rates for XIAP, p-H1, and p63 were 60.7%, 96.4%, and 92.8%, respectively. The staining intensity for XIAP: + 70.6%, ++ 23.5%, +++ 0%, and ++++ 5.9%; for p-H1: + 48.1%, ++ 11.1%, +++37.0%, and ++++ 3.7%; and for p63: + 11.5%, ++ 23.1%, +++ 53.9%, and ++++ 11.5%. The expression of p-H1 and p63 appeared to be higher and stronger than that of XIAP in HNSCC. This study demonstrated the feasibility of monitoring expression of three tumor markers using FNA samples. p-H1 and XIAP may be useful for monitoring actions of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, XIAP-lowering, and/or apoptosis-inducing drugs, respectively. Future studies will focus on the impact of therapies upon these staining profiles.
- Cell block
- p-histone H1