We conducted the present study to evaluate the frequency and prognostic importance on long-term survival of TP53 mutations and TP53 protein accumulation in a cohort of 178 patients with early-stage ovarian carcinomas. TP53 mutations scored as aberrant temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis pattern from all exons were observed in 39.9% of the tumours. Full screening of exons 5-8, followed by sequencing, was successful in 135 cases, and 48 mutations altering the protein were detected in 39 cases (28.9%). TP53 mutations were slightly less common in the Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians stage IA than in IB/IC (P=0.05). No significant correlations with histological type, grade of differentiation, DNA ploidy status or age at diagnosis were found. TP53 protein accumulation analysed by immunohistochemistry was found in 32.6% of all tumours, and was a poor predictor of TP53 mutations with 56.4% sensitivity, 77.1% specificity, 50% positive predictive value and 81.3% negative predictive value. Neither TP53 mutations nor TP53 protein accumulation influenced the prognosis significantly in this group of patients.