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Br J Cancer. 2005 Jan 31;92(2):284-9.

The predictive value of p53, p53R2, and p21 for the effect of chemoradiation therapy on oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, Digestive Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Sakuragaoka 8-35-1, Kagoshima 890-8520, Japan.


The p53 family regulates cell-cycle arrest, triggers apoptosis or is involved in repair of DNA damage. In the present study, we analysed the expression of some p53 family proteins and their responses to chemoradiation therapy (CRT) in cases of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We immunohistochemically investigated the relationship between p53, p53R2, and p21 expression in biopsy specimens of untreated primary tumours and their clinical and histological responses to CRT in 62 patients with ESCC. Chemoradiation therapy consisted of 5-fluorouracil plus cisplatin and 40 Gy of radiation. The rates of clinical and histological responses (complete or partial) to CRT were 71.0% (clinical) and 52.8% (histological). The rate of positive expression was 43.5% for p53, 37.1% for p53R2, and 54.8% for p21 expression. Statistically significant correlations were found between p53 or p53R2 expression and favourable response to CRT (P=0.0001 or 0.041 clinical, P=0.016 or 0.0018 histological, respectively). Furthermore, in p53-negative tumours, CRT was more effective in tumours with p53R2 negative expression than those with p53R2 positive expression (P=0.0014). We demonstrated that the negative expression of p53 and p53R2 expression was closely related to the effect of CRT and should predict the CRT outcome in patients with ESCC.

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