Presence of a p53 gene deletion in patients with multiple myeloma predicts for short survival after conventional-dose chemotherapy

Blood. 1998 Aug 1;92(3):802-9.


In multiple myeloma (MM), previous studies showed that mutations of the p53 gene are rare events in patients with newly diagnosed disease, but it is not known whether deletions of p53 are of any significance in MM. To address this question, we used interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with a DNA probe specific for the p53 locus at 17p13 and investigated bone marrow plasma cells from 72 patients with MM (59 patients = 81.9% before therapy). By FISH, deletions of p53, which were found to be predominantly monoallelic, were detected in 32.8% and 54.5% of patients with newly diagnosed and relapsed MM, respectively. Karyotypes from six of the patients with a p53 deletion by FISH showed a structural abnormality of 17p in only one of them. Additional FISH studies including a distal-17p probe (specific for the D17S34 locus) provided evidence for an interstitial deletion on 17p resulting in loss of p53 hybridization signals in myeloma cells. Among all 59 patients with newly diagnosed MM, presence of a p53 deletion was associated with stage III (P = .054), but not with other laboratory and clinical parameters. Patients with a p53 deletion had significantly shorter survival time compared with those without a deletion, both from the time of diagnosis (median 13.9 v 38.7 months; P < .0001) and from the time of initiation of induction treatment consisting of conventional dose chemotherapy (median 15.9 months v median not reached at 38 months; P < .0002). On stepwise multivariate regression analysis, presence of a p53 deletion was the most significant independent parameter predicting for shortened survival (P = .002). We conclude that a p53 gene deletion, which can be identified by interphase FISH in almost a third of patients with newly diagnosed MM, is a novel prognostic factor predicting for short survival of MM patients treated with conventional-dose chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Marrow / chemistry
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Carmustine / administration & dosage
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 17 / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 17 / ultrastructure
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Genes, p53*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Interphase
  • Karyotyping
  • Life Tables
  • Male
  • Melphalan / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy
  • Multiple Myeloma / genetics*
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage


  • Vincristine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Melphalan
  • Carmustine
  • Prednisone