The p53 gene has been investigated for its role in epithelial ovarian cancer but data collected until now are contradictory. The evidence that p53 belongs with p63 and p73 to a family of transcription factors re-opened interest in this gene family. Here, we used quantitative real time RT-PCR to determine expression levels of TAp53, TAp73 and their N-terminal splice variants in a cohort of 169 ovarian cancer patients with stage I and stage III disease. The TAp73 levels in stage III biopsies differed by 100-fold depending on the p53 status and overall survival appears to be significantly related to DeltaNp73 expression. Kaplan-Meyer analyses did not suggest a correlation between overall survival and levels of TAp73, DeltaNp73 or the DeltaNp73/TAp73 ratio. In conclusion, these data suggest that at least in our patient cohort p53 and p73 expression levels are not correlated to malignant progression of ovarian cancer. They might, however, play a role in tumour initiation.