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Pathobiology. 2008;75(2):132-9. doi: 10.1159/000123851. Epub 2008 Jun 10.

TP53 status and response to chemotherapy in breast cancer.

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Department of Pathology, Hospital St-Louis, APHP and University Paris 7, INSERM U728, Paris, France.


Despite its central role in the control of apoptosis, senescence and cell cycle arrest, the tumor suppressor protein p53 remains an enigma for its possible role in predicting response to chemotherapy in cancer patients. Many studies remained inconclusive, others showed a better response for tumors with normal p53, and some recent studies showed adverse effects of normal p53 for response to treatment. p53 is not only a powerful pro-apoptotic factor in response to drug-induced DNA damages but also a potential inducer of cell cycle arrest, protecting tumor cells from further cytotoxic damages. Our review describes the classical as well as the more recent concepts. In order to draw definite conclusions, future works should use more reliable methods to assess the TP53 status and should address more homogeneous tumor subpopulations treated with homogeneous chemotherapy regimens.

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