Co-overexpression of p53 protein and epidermal growth factor receptor in human papillary thyroid carcinomas correlated with lymph node metastasis, tumor size and clinicopathologic stage

Int J Oncol. 1999 Nov;15(5):893-8. doi: 10.3892/ijo.15.5.893.


Expressions of p53 protein and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) were immunohistochemically investigated in 111 patients with papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) in order to evaluate their co-expression in relation to lymph node metastases (LNM), tumor size and clinicopathologic stage. In PTC, positive staining for p53 in dewaxed sections was present in nuclei or cytoplasm, or in both, whereas surface linear or cytoplasmic staining for EGFR was observed with varying degrees of extent and intensity. Positive reaction (more than 10% of tumor cells positive) was observed in 65 cases (58. 5%) for p53, and in 87 cases (78.4%) for EGFR. A significant correlation was found between p53 protein and EGFR overexpressions (p<0.01). Notably, p53-positive cases always exhibited positive staining for EGFR. Forty-four patients (39.6%) exhibited concomitant LNM, most of whom had both p53 and EGFR expression in primary foci. Statistical analysis revealed that co-expression of p53 protein and EGFR was significantly correlated with LNM, tumor size and clinicopathologic stage, but no correlation was found between their co-expression and age or sex. Our findings suggest that overexpression of p53 protein or EGFR in PTC tends to be associated with a high frequency of LNM, increased tumor size and advanced clinicopathologic stage, and that co-expression of both p53 protein and EGFR may predispose to growth and progression of PTC. Our findings also suggest that p53 protein and EGFR expressions may be clinicopathologic and prognostic indicators of PTC.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / pathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis*
  • ErbB Receptors / biosynthesis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / analysis*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / biosynthesis


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • ErbB Receptors