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Br J Cancer. 1999 Oct;81(4):733-40.

p53 overexpression is associated with cytoreduction and response to chemotherapy in ovarian cancer.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.


The aim of this study was to assess the association of p53 status with primary cytoreduction, response to chemotherapy and outcome in stage III-IV primary ovarian cancer patients. Immunohistochemical analysis of p53 was performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens from 168 primary ovarian carcinomas by using the DO-7 monoclonal antibody. p53 nuclear positivity was found in 84 out of 162 (52%) malignant tumours. A higher percentage of p53 nuclear positivity was observed in patients with advanced stage of disease than in stage I-II (57% vs 23% respectively; P = 0.0022) and in poorly differentiated versus well/moderately differentiated tumours (59% vs 32% respectively; P = 0.0038). The multivariate analysis aimed to investigate the association of FIGO stage, grade and p53 status with primary cytoreduction in 136 stage III-IV patients showed that stage IV disease may influence the possibility to perform primary cytoreduction in ovarian cancer patients. p53-positivity also maintained a trend to be associated with poor chance of cytoreduction. In patients who underwent pathologic assessment of response, cases who did not respond to chemotherapy were much more frequently p53-positive than p53-negative (86% vs 14% respectively; P = 0.012). Moreover, patients with stage III disease and < 2-cm residual tumour were more likely to respond to treatment. In multivariate analysis, FIGO stage and p53 expression were independently correlated with pathologic response to chemotherapy. Time to progression and survival rates were shown not to be different in p53-positive versus p53-negative patients.

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