DNA ploidy and cyclin D1 expression in basal cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Stefania Staibano, Lorenzo Lo Muzio, Giuseppe Pannone, Ernesto Mezza, Giuseppe Argenziano, Antonio Vetrani, Antonio Lucariello, Renato Franco, Maria E. Errico, Gaetano De Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) may be subdivided into primary with a favorable biologic course (BCC1) and recurrent and/or metastatic (BCC2). No clear association between primary tumor location, histologic subtype, or other clinicopathologic variables and predisposition for BCC2 has been found. Histopathologic criteria are limited for prognostication. To identify prognostic factors useful for planning therapy, we studied cyclin D1 immunohistochemical expression, DNA ploidy, and epiluminescence light microscopic (ELM) patterns in 60 cases of BCC (30 BCC1 and 30 BCC2) in the head and neck region, half of which were hyperpigmented. Cyclin D1 was absent in 27 cases, expressed at low level in 4 cases, and overexpressed in 30 cases. Seven BCCs were euploid, 28 exhibited a mixed cellular population, and 25 were aneuploid. Among aneuploid tumors, hypodiploidy was found in 12. Among the 30 pigmented carcinomas, only 15 showed a typical ELM pattern. No association between pigmentation and more aggressive biologic behavior of BCC was found. These results and follow-up data seem to indicate that an unfavorable outcome can be predicted by hyperexpression of cyclin D1, aneuploidy, and an atypical ELM patternfor pigmented cases. A definite hypodiploid peak was associated with worse prognosis. The analysis of cyclin D1 expression and DNA ploidy may help identify BCC with an aggressive phenotype and a poor clinical outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-813
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Cyclin DI
  • DNA ploidy
  • Epiluminescence microscopy
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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