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Br J Cancer. 1998 Jun;77(11):1842-7.

Immunohistochemical detection of p53 and Bcl-2 in colorectal carcinoma: no evidence for prognostic significance.

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Department of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.


To evaluate the prognostic significance of immunohistochemically detected p53 and Bcl-2 proteins in colorectal cancer, tissue sections from 238 paraffin-embedded colorectal carcinomas were immunostained for p53 (MAb DO-7 and CM-1 antiserum) and Bcl-2 (MAb Bcl-2:124). Staining patterns were assessed semiquantitatively and correlated with each other and with sex, age, tumour site, Dukes' classification, tumour differentiation, mucinous characteristics, lymphocyte and eosinophilic granulocyte infiltration, and patient survival. In our series, 35% of carcinomas showed no nuclear staining and 34% (DO-7) to 40% (CM-1) showed staining in over 30% of tumour cell nuclei. A majority of carcinomas that had been immunostained with CM-1 showed cytoplasmic staining, but this was not observed with DO-7. With respect to Bcl-2, 51% of tumours were completely negative, 32% displayed weak and 15% moderate staining; only 3% showed strong positive staining. No evidence was found for reciprocity between Bcl-2 expression and nuclear p53 accumulation. From 13 cases containing tumour-associated adenoma, four were Bcl-2 negative in premalignant and malignant cells, in another four cases these cells showed similar staining intensities and in the remaining cases only the malignant colorectal cells were Bcl-2 negative. Therefore, our data indicate that Bcl-2 is dispensable in the progression towards carcinoma. Except for an association between nuclear p53 accumulation and mucinous tumours (P = 0.01), no significant correlation was found between the clinicopathological parameters mentioned above and immunostaining pattern of (nuclear or cytoplasmic) p53 or Bcl-2.

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