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Br J Cancer. 1996 Aug;74(4):562-7.

Overexpression of p53 protein is an independent prognostic indicator in human endometrial carcinoma.

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Department of Surgery, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia.


The important role of the p53 gene in tumour progression and cellular response to DNA damage has prompted investigation of the clinical significance of alterations to this gene. We examined both p53 overexpression and mutation of the gene in endometrial carcinoma in order to evaluate the prognostic significance of these changes. Of 122 endometrial carcinomas, 33 (27%) showed overexpression of p53 in the nucleus and 66 (54%) in the cytoplasm. Mutation in the p53 gene was found in 16 (13%) cases but showed no significant association with patient survival. Nuclear p53 overexpression was associated with poor survival (48% vs 80% alive in negative tumours 5 years post operatively, P < 0.001). In contrast, cytoplasmic p53 overexpression was associated with better survival (85% vs 55%, P < 0.001). When patients were separated into prognostic subgroups according to established clinical markers, these associations remained significant within most subgroups examined. In multivariate analysis adjusted for surgical stage, histological grade and type and vascular invasion, both nuclear p53 overexpression [hazard ratio 4.9 (95% CI 1.3-17.6). P = 0.016] and cytoplasmic overexpression [0.25 (0.06-0.98), P = 0.047] were independent prognostic factors. Immunohistochemical assessment of p53 overexpression in the nucleus and cytoplasm could provide useful prognostic information for the management of patients with endometrial cancer.

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