Complete surgical resection of the primary tumour is a crucial predictive step for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), because incomplete resection may lead to increase in the recurrence rate. Molecular cancer markers have been investigated as potential predictors of prognosis marker, to identify patients who are at high risk of local recurrence. This retrospective study aimed to determine the prognostic correlation between p53 and eIF4E expression and clinical characteristics, recurrence and overall survival. Forty eight HNSCC patients were selected between 2006 and 2009 diagnosed at the Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Out of 48, only those 24 with negative surgical margins with hematoxylin and eosin (HandE) were chosedn for further analysis. A total of 77 surgical margins were obtained and subsequently analysed by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining with monoclonal p53 and polyclonal eIF4E antibodies. Contingency table and ?2-test were used to investigate the correlation between p53 and eIF4E expression and clinical characteristics, recurrence and overall survival of the HNSCC patients. The follow up period was 74 months (range 1-74 months). The Kaplan-Meier method was used to generate recurrence and survival curves. This is a first retrospective study of Northern Territory patients, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Molecular study of surgical margins could help to identify patients with and without clear margins after surgery and help in choice of the most appropriate adjuvant treatment for HNSCC patients.