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Br J Cancer. 1998 Mar;77(5):783-8.

Prognostic significance of cyclin E and p53 protein overexpression in carcinoma of the renal pelvis and ureter.

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Department of Pathology II, Kochi Medical School, Nankoku, Japan.


Cyclin E gene alteration in the cell cycle plays an important role in carcinogenesis, while p53 protein affects different phase checkpoint pathways by activating p21WAF1/CIP1 in the normal cell cycle. We immunohistochemically examined the expression of cyclin E and p53 proteins in 121 patients with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the renal pelvis and ureter to determine their significance for tumour behaviour and patient prognosis. Cyclin E and p53 immunostaining of the nucleus was observed in 36 tumours (29.8%) and 35 tumours (28.9%) respectively. A significant percentage, 69.4% (25 out of 36 tumours), of the cyclin E-positive tumours exhibited simultaneous labelling for p53 (P < 0.05). Mirror-section technique was performed in five selected double-positive tumours to identify cancer cells that were nuclei positive for both cyclin E and p53. The prevalence of cases simultaneously exhibiting both cyclin E and p53 immunostaining was higher in the high-grade tumours (P < 0.01) than in the other types of tumours. Patients with TCCs coexpressing cyclin E and p53 had a significantly poorer prognosis than those expressing neither cyclin E nor p53 (P < 0.001). These in vivo findings provide evidence for cyclin E protein overexpression in TCCs intimately associated with p53 alteration and suggest that simultaneous overexpression of both cyclin E and p53 is related to tumour behaviour and poor prognosis.

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