A population-based study of immunohistochemical detection of p53 alteration in bladder cancer

Br J Cancer. 2004 Apr 19;90(8):1572-6. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6601748.


The molecular pathology of bladder cancer has been the subject of considerable interest and mutation of the p53 gene, which has been associated with more invasive bladder cancer, has been widely studied. Further, there is evidence that p53 inactivation (either mutation or protein dysregulation), independent of stage, may be predictive of bladder cancer progression. In an effort to avoid possible biases associated with selection of more advanced cases, we examined p53 inactivation in a population-based study of bladder cancer in New Hampshire, using both mutation and immunohistochemical methods. We found the overall prevalence of mutation to be approximately 10%, while immunohistochemical analysis suggests that approximately 66% of the tumours have dysregulated p53 at the protein level. There was a significant association of mutation with persistent p53 staining, but there remained a marked number of tumours discordant for mutation and aberrant p53 immunohistochemistry. Based upon immunohistochemical staining alone, intensity rather than extent of p53 staining was more strongly related to tumour invasiveness. Additionally, all tumours with a mutation in exon 8 stained intensely. Taken together, this suggests that intense staining represents a distinct phenotype of dysfunctional protein. Our data indicate that population-based approaches to somatic alteration of p53 in bladder cancer are crucial to understanding the relationship of p53 changes to aetiology and the outcome of this disease, and further suggest that the pattern of immunohistochemical staining may represent distinct, discernible phenotypes. British Journal of Cancer (2004) 90, 1572-1576. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6601748 www.bjcancer.com Published online 6 April 2004

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DNA Mutational Analysis*
  • Female
  • Genes, p53*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Phenotype
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / biosynthesis*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53