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, 117 (3), 486-93

Etiologic Factors Associated With p53 Immunostaining in Cutaneousmalignant Melanoma


Etiologic Factors Associated With p53 Immunostaining in Cutaneousmalignant Melanoma

Mark P Purdue et al. Int J Cancer.


Findings from a case-control study of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) in Queensland, Australia, suggest that melanomas exhibiting p53 immunostaining possess different risk factors from those of other melanomas. To further explore this hypothesis, a case-only analysis of risk factors for p53 immunostaining with anti-p53 MAb DO-7 was undertaken in 523 people diagnosed with CMM in Canada and Australia. Phenotypic factors and past sun exposure were measured using a self-administered questionnaire and telephone interview. The presence of strong p53 staining (>10% of cell nuclei positively stained vs. <1% staining) was positively associated with some indicators of high cumulative sun exposure: lentigo maligna melanoma subtype (OR = 3.2 vs. superficial spreading subtype), melanoma location on the head and neck (OR = 2.8 vs. back), histopathologic evidence of solar elastosis (OR = 2.1) and previous diagnosis of nonmelanoma skin cancer (OR = 2.4). Strong staining was negatively associated with high nevus density on the back (OR = 0.2 for >25 nevi vs. 0-3 nevi) and histologic evidence of a coexisting nevus (OR = 0.3). Other factors associated with strong p53 immunostaining include greater Breslow thickness (OR = 7.4 for >4.00 vs. <0.76 mm), male sex (OR = 2.2) and dense freckling (OR = 6.6 vs. few freckles). Of these, thickness, male sex, dense freckling, low nevus density on the back, histologic subtype and history of nonmelanoma skin cancer appeared to be independently associated with strong p53 staining. Our findings are consistent with the Queensland study in suggesting that variables indicating high accumulated sun exposure are positively associated with p53 staining and that an increased number of nevi is positively associated with its absence; they may reflect etiologic and pathogenetic heterogeneity in melanoma.

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