Objectives: A wide range of p53 mutations (5-65%), detected by various methods, has been reported in primary prostate cancers (CaP). IHC staining of radical prostatectomy specimens shows marked heterogeneity of focally distributed p53-positive cells. However, a significant relationship between the focal staining of p53 and cancer recurrence after radical prostatectomy has been noted. Increased frequency of p53 mutations has been generally observed in advanced stage CaP and metastatic prostate cancer cell lines. The significance of focal p53 immunostaining in primary CaP remains uncertain with respect to the p53 gene mutation or tumor progression. The goal of this study was to evaluate p53 gene mutations in focal regions of primary prostate cancers positive by p53 immunostaining.
Methods: Whole-mount prostates from men with clinically organ-confined prostate cancer were immunostained for p53 protein. Laser capture microdissection (LCM) was used to harvest p53 positive cells from areas of tumor and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and benign gland. DNA from microdissected cells were amplified for p53 exons 5-8 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and analyzed for mutations by single strand conformation polymorphism and DNA sequencing. Mutation analysis of the p53 gene exons 5-8 was performed in the p53 immunostaining positive focal regions (1+ to 4+) of whole-mount prostate sections from 16 patients.
Results: Of 16 patients with p53 IHC positive tumors, 11 (69%) had p53 gene mutations as determined by DNA sequence analysis. However, randomly microdissected tumor cells from 4 of 18 patients (22%) negative for p53 IHC also demonstrated mutations in the p53 gene. A significant fraction of prostate tumors with focally positive immunostaining for p53 have been confirmed to contain mutations in the p53 gene.
Conclusions: p53 immunostaining guided LCM combined with DNA-based analyses emphasizes the presence of focal p53 mutations in primary prostate cancers and underscores the significance of previous observations showing a correlation between focal p53 immunostaining in primary CaP and cancer recurrence after radical prostatectomy.