The p53 tumor suppressor gene in breast cancer

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1994;32(1):39-47. doi: 10.1007/BF00666204.


Alterations of the p53 tumor suppressor gene are the most common genetic changes found so far in breast cancer, suggesting that the gene plays a central role in the development of the disease. p53 functions as a negative regulator of cell growth, and alterations in the gene lead to loss of this negative growth regulation and more rapid cell proliferation. A number of independent groups using different methods of detection have shown that p53 alterations are associated with more aggressive tumor biologic factors and a poorer prognosis in breast cancer patients. Because of its possible role in the regulation of apoptosis and response to DNA damage, p53 status could also be a predictive marker for response to hormonal or chemotherapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Division
  • Genes, p53* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Prognosis