Background: The prognostic value of p16INK4A in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) has been evaluated for several years although the results remain controversial. Materials and methods: Various databases were systematically searched to identify studies published on the p16INK4A survival rate of ESCC patients. The pooled risk ratios and odds ratios with their corresponding 95% CIs were used to estimate the effect sizes. Results: A total of 16 studies comprising 1314 patients were included. p16INK4A overexpression was significantly associated with improved 5-year overall survival, disease-free survival, early tumor TNM stages, better tumor histological grade, no lymph node metastasis and more shallow tumor invasive depth (p < 0.05). Conclusion: p16INK4A expression could be a useful biomarker to predict better prognosis for ESCC patients.
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