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Am J Clin Pathol. 2001 Sep;116(3):360-8.

p53 nuclear accumulation and multiploidy are adverse prognostic factors in surgically resected stage II colorectal cancers independent of fluorouracil-based adjuvant therapy.

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  • 1Pathology Department, Regina Elena Cancer Insititute, Via Chianesi 53, 00144 Rome, Italy.


To identify the prognostically highest risk patients, DNA content and p53 nuclear or cytoplasmic accumulation, evaluated by monoclonal antibody DO7 and polyclonal antibody CM1, were determined in 94 surgically resected stage II (Dukes B2) colorectal cancers, treated or not with adjuvant 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy. Sixty-one (65%) of the tumors were aneuploid, 16 (17%) of which had a multiploid DNA content; 50 (53%) displayed DO7 nuclear p53 accumulation, and 44 (47%) showed cytoplasmic CM1 positivity. In multivariate analysis, only multiploidy and p53 nuclear positivity emerged as independent prognostic indicators of a poorer outcome. Positivity for p53 was associated with shorter survival in 5-fluorouracil-treated and untreated patients. Therefore, in patients with Dukes B2 colorectal cancer, a biologic profile based on the combined evaluation of DNA multiploidy and p53 status can provide valuable prognostic information, identifying patients to be enrolled in alternative, more aggressive therapeutic trials.

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