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Cancer. 2000 Oct 15;89(8):1677-83.

Serum p53 antibody is a useful tumor marker in superficial esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

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Department of Surgery, Chiba University School of Medicine, Chiba, Japan.



Patients with superficial (mucosal or submucosal) esophageal carcinoma (SEC) have significantly better survival rates than patients with advanced carcinoma. Some patients with advanced esophageal carcinoma have been reported to test positive for serum p53 antibodies (Abs). Because very few patients with superficial carcinoma have been examined, the aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical significance of serum p53-Abs in patients with superficial esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SESCC).


Thirty-five consecutive patients with SESCC were studied for serum p53-Abs by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay before and after treatment. The clinicopathologic features of p53 seropositive and p53 negative patients were compared. The relation between the presence of serum p53-Abs and p53 immunoreactivity of the resected specimens was examined. Three tumor markers (squamous cell carcinoma antigen [SCC-Ag], CYFRA21-1, and carcinoembryonic antigen [CEA]) were assessed to compare their sensitivities with serum p53-Abs.


Fourteen of 35 patients (40%) were p53 seropositive. Relatively few patients tested positive for the other tumor markers: CEA, 11.4%; SCC-Ag, 14.3%; CYFRA21-1, 5.7%. There were no significant correlations between clinicopathologic features and p53 seropositivity except for tumor location. A strong correlation between p53 immunostaining and the presence of serum p53-Abs was observed (P = 0.003). Of the 14 patients with seropositive results, 12 turned seronegative after resection, and the other 2 experienced disease recurrence.


Surveillance of serum p53-Abs is superior to the three tumor markers for detecting SESCC. This serum marker is also useful for the detection of p53 protein overexpression and for the monitoring of residual tumor cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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