Objective: A polymorphism at codon 72 of the human tumor-suppressor gene, p53, results in translation to either arginine or proline. Some recent reports suggested that the risk of HPV-associated cervical cancer in white women is higher for those homozygous for the arginine allele than for those who are heterozygous; some reports did not. So we examined a number of cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and normal control to see if we could confirm this result.
Methods: Three groups of women were studied: 20 women for normal control; 15 women with ovarian cancer; 15 women with cervical cancer. DNA from peripheral blood samples and from pathologic tissue sections was examined by PCR with allele-specific primers.
Results: The proportions of individuals homozygous for the arginine allele, homozygous for the proline allele and heterozygous for the two alleles were 38%, 6% and 56% in normal women; 38%, 5% and 57% in women with ovarian cancer; 78%, 8% and 14% in women with cervical cancer, respectively. Chi-square analysis showed significant differences in the proportions.
Conclusion: In this population, individuals homozygous for the arginine variant of codon 72 of the p53 gene were at increased risk of cervical cancer.