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Histol Histopathol. 1995 Jul;10(3):661-8.

Prognostic significance of p53 and c-erbB-2 immunohistochemical evaluation in colorectal adenocarcinoma.

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University Surgical Department, Hippokration General Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Mutant p53 tumour suppressor gene and c-erbB-2 proto-oncogene are involved in human carcinogenesis, and their protein product detection in human malignancies might influence the evolution of many neoplasms. Our aim was to estimate their association with histopathological and clinical parameters of prognostic value in colorectal cancer. An immunohistochemical assay was undertaken in formalin-fixed sections from tissue specimens of 60 colorectal carcinomas. Nuclear p53 expression was detected in 46.6%, while membranic c-erbB-2 positivity was noticed in 35% of the examined cases. P53 positivity rate significantly correlated with poor differentiation (p < 0.001), high mitotic activity (p < 0.0001), tumour stage (p < 0.001) and 5-year overall survival period (p < 0.01). C-erbB-2 positivity incidence significantly correlated with advanced Dukes' stage (p < 0.001) and high mitotic activity (p < 0.05). Significant association between p53 and c-erbB-2 immunostaining was observed (p < 0.05) and p53/c-erbB-2 co-expression was related to poor differentiation (p < 0.001), high mitotic activity (p < 0.001), advanced Dukes' stage (p < 0.001), tumour aneuploidy (p < 0.05) and worse overall survival (p < 0.05). P53 and c-erbB-2 immunohistochemical detection in combination with known prognostic indicators may be a useful future tool in determining colorectal cancer prognosis and subsequently in deciding on optimal postoperative treatments.

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