Background and aims: p53 protein plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of a large number of malignancies. In this study, our goal was to elucidate the prognostic role of p53 overexpression and its relationship to clinicopathological variables in colorectal cancer. Materials and methods: Between 1999 and 2004, surgical specimens of 258 patients who received surgical treatment for colorectal cancer at the Veterans General Hospital, Taipei were collected. p53 expression in tumor tissue was evaluated by immunohistochemical analysis using the human p53-specific mouse monoclonal antibody, PAb 1801. Results: Of the 258 patients, 97 (37.6%) had overexpression of p53 in tumor tissues. The accumulation of p53 protein in tumor tissues did not correlate with age, gender, preoperative serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) level, mucin content, nodal status, and tumor stage. A statistically significant correlation was found between p53 overexpression and location of the tumor in the rectum (p=0.038). Well to moderately differentiated tumors had significantly higher frequency of p53 overexpression than poorly differentiated tumors (40.0 vs 20.0%, p=0.050). Each patient was followed up for a minimum of 2 years (median 35 months). In univariate analysis, 3-year cancer-specific survival rate was significantly higher in patients with tumor p53 overexpression (88.2%) than in patients without overexpression (log rank test, p=0.037). However, in multivariate analysis, the tumour node metastasis stage remained the most significant independent prognostic factor. Conclusion: The accumulation of p53 protein might have a favorable prognostic value in colorectal cancer, but it is not an independent prognostic factor.
- p53 protein