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J Pathol. 1991 Nov;165(3):203-11.

Expression of p53 protein in infiltrating and in-situ breast carcinomas.

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Department of Pathology, Leicester Royal Infirmary, U.K.


Five antibodies directed against the whole or part of p53 protein have been used to detect the protein immunohistochemically in 70 infiltrating breast carcinomas and 10 ductal carcinomas in situ. Mutations are known to occur in different conserved domains, and the antibodies employed spanned the expected sites. p53 protein was identified in 53 per cent of infiltrating carcinomas using the antibodies PAb 240, PAb 1801, C19, and JG8. The antibody PAb 421 detected the protein in 31.5 per cent; all positive with the other antibodies. Well-differentiated oestrogen receptor-positive tumours had a low incidence of p53 detection. Variation in the percentage of reactivity was seen between carcinomas and in some cases between different antibodies in the same cancer. Those carcinomas with a high percentage of positive cells with all antibodies were more likely to have metastasized to nodes, be at an advanced stage, and be oestrogen receptor-negative/epidermal growth factor receptor-positive. There was no significant correlation with c-erbB-2 protein expression or retinoblastoma protein loss. p53 protein was detected in a high proportion of cells in three of the six comedo ductal carcinomas in situ studied but either not at all or at a lower level in tumours of the cribriform type. p53 mutations are common in breast carcinomas, but heterogeneity within individual tumours is frequent. Marked expression of p53 appears to relate to tumour progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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