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Hum Pathol. 1996 Jun;27(6):567-72.

The role of p53 mutation and protein expression in primary and recurrent adenoid cystic carcinoma.

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Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA 15213, USA.


Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a malignant tumor of salivary gland origin having a propensity for spread by direct extension or perineural invasion with frequent recurrences. Previous reports have shown that tumor behavior is not always predicted by histological pattern or stage. Little is known of the role of p53 tumor suppressor gene mutation and altered protein expression with respect to ACC pathobiology and recurrence. The authors analyzed a group of 14 ACC specimens (seven primary; seven recurrent) from 13 patients treated between 1987 to 1993. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens were reviewed and subjected to, immunohistochemistry (p53, DO-7, DAKO, Nutley, NJ; and WAF-I, Ab-1, Oncogene Sciences, Uniondale, NY) on 4-microm-thick histological sections as a prelude to p53 genotyping. In one case, sequential material representing primary and recurrent tumor was analyzed. Each tumor specimen was topographically genotyped for p53 point mutational change. Minute tissue samples were removed from unstained sections, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplified for p53 exons 5 to 8, and then underwent direct DNA sequencing. Six of seven primary ACCs were p53 immunostain negative. Four of seven recurrent (57%) ACCs were p53 immunopositive. These tumors showed varying degrees of p53 immunopositivity ranging from diffuse, intense staining of most tumor cells (n = 1) to interspersed, strongly positive cells mixed with predominantly p53 immunonegative cells (n = 4). All tumors were WAF-I immunostain negative. Two of the most immunopositive recurrent tumors each manifested a single type of p53 point mutation detected by p53 DNA genotyping (p53 exon 5:codon 175 and p53 exon 6:codon 199). In the case in which both primary and recurrent tumor was available, only the recurrent tumor contained point mutational damage. Negative immunostaining for p53 in primary ACC suggests that p53 mutation is not important in early events involving development of this tumor. In contrast, the frequent presence of p53-positive cells and the detection of point mutations in recurrent ACC suggests that p53 alterations are involved in later stages of tumor progression, important in the phenomenon of ACC recurrence.

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