p53 protein detected by immunohistochemistry as a prognostic factor in patients with epithelial ovarian carcinoma

Cancer. 1995 Oct 1;76(7):1201-8. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19951001)76:7<1201::aid-cncr2820760716>3.0.co;2-l.


Background: The clinical significance of p53 suppressor gene nucleoprotein immunostaining in ovarian epithelial cancer has not been determined.

Methods: p53 protein expression was studied by immunohistochemistry from paraffin embedded tissue in a series of 136 patients with malignant ovarian epithelial tumors. The median follow-up time of the patients still alive was 10 years.

Results: Sixty (44%) carcinomas stained clearly positive for p53 protein. Positive staining for p53 protein was associated with the serous histologic type (P = 0.0006), a higher than the median S-phase fraction size determined by DNA flow cytometry (P = 0.02), and poor histologic grade of differentiation (P = 0.04), but not with the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage, age at diagnosis, or DNA ploidy. Cancers with positive staining had only 17% 5-year and 9% 15-year survival rates compared with 42% 5-year and 36% 15-year survival rates corrected for intercurrent deaths among the rest of patients (P = 0.002). In a multivariate analysis, positive p53 staining was associated with poor survival (relative risk of death, 1.8, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-2.9) together with less than radical surgery (nonradical vs. radical: RR, 5.5; 95% CI, 2.2-13.6), and advanced FIGO stage (RR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0-2.0).

Conclusion: Although p53 protein immunostaining is associated with several other prognostic factors in epithelial ovarian cancer, it may also have independent prognostic value in this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma / chemistry*
  • Carcinoma / mortality
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Survival Rate
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / analysis*


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53