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Anticancer Res. 1996 May-Jun;16(3A):1301-4.

p53 protein expression in human breast carcinoma: lack of prognostic potential for recurrence of the disease.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Mutations of the p53 gene are now known to be one of the most commonly detected genetic defects among human cancers. Because of its stability, the mutant p53 protein can be detected by immunohistochemical methods. Overexpression of the mutant p53 protein has been suggested as a prognostic indicator for the recurrence of breast cancer. Using a monoclonal antibody to p53, formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded breast cancer tissues retrieved from up to 10 years storage in the archival files were processed for staining. A total of 125 cases was examined p53 overexpression was identified by brown nuclear staining. Clinical parameters studied included estrogen and progesterone receptors, tumor size, nodal status, obesity, stage, and histopathological grade. The only significant association seen for p53 overexpression was with negative estrogen and progesterone receptors. All other clinical parameters studied were independent of p53 overexpression. Thus, p53 overexpression does not appear to be a useful prognostic indicator for recurrence and survival in human breast cancer.

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