The complete coding region of the p53 gene was sequenced from 316 consecutively presented breast cancers, of which 97 were lymph node positive and 206 were node negative. The p53 status was related to prognosis and effect of adjuvant therapy. In all, 69 individual mutations, 29 in node-positive tumours, were demonstrated throughout the whole coding sequence. The mutation sites were partly different for node-positive and node-negative patients. p53 mutations in the evolutionary conserved regions II and V were associated with significantly worse prognosis. Adjuvant systemic therapy, especially with tamoxifen, along with radiotherapy seemed to be of less value to p53 mutation- and lymph node-positive tumours.