The molecular epidemiology of p53 gene mutations in human breast cancer

Trends Genet. 1997 Jan;13(1):27-33. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(96)10043-3.


The P53 tumor-suppressor gene is an advantageous tool for analyzing the molecular epidemiology of cancer. We describe the utility of the P53 gene as a 'mutagen test' and a prognostic indicator in breast cancer. Aspects of study design and methodology are discussed. Two major conclusions emerge: (1) there is an extraordinary diversity of mutational patterns among cohorts, hinting that the unique biology of mammary cells results in exposure to high doses of a diversity of ingested lipophilic mutagens; and (2) mutations in the P53 gene predict poor outcome in breast cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, p53 / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Mutagens / toxicity
  • Mutation*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / drug effects
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*


  • Mutagens
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53