Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) is the 6th most common malignancy worldwide with a 5-year survival that has not improved over the last 20-25 years. Factors of prognostic significance for this tumour type include the presence of regional lymph node metastasis and amplification of chromosome 3q21-29, where the p63 gene is located. This gene encodes 6 proteins and is crucial for formation of the oral mucosa, teeth, salivary glands and skin. Each of the 6 different p63 proteins has different characteristics and functions, where some resemble the tumour suppressor protein p53, whilst others have functions that oppose p53.
Thurfjell, N., Coates, P. J., Boldrup, L., Lindgren, B., Bäcklund, B., Uusitalo, T., Mahani, D., Dabelsteen, E., Dahlqvist, A., Sjöström, B., Roos, G., Vojtesek, B., Nenutil, R., & Nylander, K. (2005). Function and importance of p63 in normal oral mucosa and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Advances in Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, 62, 49-57. https://doi.org/10.1159/000082464