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Hum Pathol. 1993 Nov;24(11):1175-9.

p53 accumulation in ovarian carcinomas and its prognostic implications.

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Department of Pathology, University of Milan School of Medicine, Italy.


Intranuclear p53 accumulation is a common finding in many different human tumors and is associated with a worse prognosis in breast, colon, and lung carcinomas. We immunostained a series of common epithelial ovarian cancers to assess (1) the prevalence of p53 accumulation and its clinicopathologic correlations, and (2) its prognostic implications. The study population comprised 98 patients (83 with follow-up data). A variable degree of p53 immunoreactivity, strictly confined to the neoplastic cells, was detected in 54 tumors (55%). Among these tumors there were 10 low expressors (1% to 10% immunoreactive tumor cells), 16 moderate expressors (10% to 50% immunoreactive cells), and 28 high expressors (> 50% immunoreactive cells). The prevalence of p53 immunoreactivity did not show any association with the histologic type of the tumors or with the disease stage at presentation. p53 Accumulation, however, was significantly more prevalent among poorly differentiated tumors (P = .0059, by analysis of variance). Life table analysis demonstrated that patients with tumors showing moderate and high p53 expression had worse disease-free and adjusted lengths of survival (P = .0011 and P = .0025, respectively, by Mantel-Cox). The patients with "early stage" disease (stages I and II) and p53 accumulation showed a trend toward shorter length of survival, but this did not reach statistical significance. However, patients with "advanced stage" disease (stages III and IV) and moderate or high p53 accumulation had a poorer prognosis (P = .0154 and P = .0171, for disease-free and adjusted length of survival, respectively). These results suggest that p53 accumulation occurs more frequently in tumors with aggressive behavior and that p53 immunoreactivity may have a prognostic role in certain subsets of patients with ovarian carcinoma.

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