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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2010 Mar;2(3):a001016. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a001016.

Clinical outcomes and correlates of TP53 mutations and cancer.

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Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The initial observation that p53 accumulation might serve as a surrogate biomarker for TP53 mutation has been the cornerstone for vast translational efforts aimed at validating its clinical use for the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of cancer. Early on, it was realized that accurate evaluation of p53 status and function could not be achieved through protein-expression analysis only. As our understanding of the p53 pathway has evolved and more sophisticated methods for assessment of p53 functional integrity have become available, the clinical and molecular epidemiological implications of p53 abnormalities in cancers are being revealed. They include diagnostic testing for germline p53 mutations, and the assessment of selected p53 mutations as biomarkers of carcinogen exposure and cancer risk and prognosis. Here, we describe the strengths and limitations of the most frequently used techniques for determination of p53 status in tumors, as well as the most remarkable latest findings relating to its clinical and epidemiological value.

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