p53 is a nuclear phosphoprotein which acts as a tumour suppressor factor, regulating cell growth and division. Mutations in the p53 gene appear to be the most common genetic alterations in human cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate p53 expression in laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas and to assess its role as a marker of prognostic significance. Using immunohistochemical staining techniques, a series of laryngeal carcinomas (n = 87) were examined for expression of the mutant form of p53 phosphoprotein using the monoclonal antibody PAB 1801. p53 over-expression was noted in 50 biopsies of laryngeal carcinomas (57.5%) but not in any of the non-neoplastic laryngeal mucosa which were used as the control. There was no statistical correlation between p53 immunoreactivity and the clinicopathological parameters of the cancers including: site of tumour, TNM staging, differentiation grading and tumour recurrence. These findings indicate that p53 expression is strongly associated with carcinoma cells and not with normal cells in the larynx. However, p53 expression is probably unrelated to the biological aggressiveness of these tumours.