P53 mutation is a rare event in Merkel cell carcinoma of the head and neck
Diagnostic criteria for intracapsular carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma (CXPA) are subjective and vary among authors. Biomarker analysis, which could provide more objective evaluation of these tumors, has rarely been studied in intracapsular CXPA. Immunohistochemical evaluation of c-erbB-2, p53 protein, bcl-2, and Ki-67 was performed in 8 cases of CXPA at an early phase of malignant transformation (4 intracapsular and 4 minimally invasive) and in 17 pleomorphic adenomas (PA). In all cases of CXPA, p53 and Ki-67 were demonstrated predominantly in luminal cells of benign and malignant areas, significantly more in the latter. Few benign myoepithelial cells were p53 positive. c-erbB-2 reactivity was strongly associated with atypical luminal cells. Bcl-2 expression was weak and focal in malignant areas from 2 cases. In conclusion, both p53 and c-erbB-2 proteins appear to be involved at an early stage of malignization of PA. In PA with atypical cells, evaluation of the expression of these 2 markers provides more objective criteria for the diagnosis of intracapsular CXPA.