Urological Research

, Volume 25, Supplement 1, pp S31–S35 | Cite as

Immunohistochemical determination of p53 overexpression

An easy and readily available method to identify progression in superficial bladder cancer?
  • F. C. Burkhard
  • R. Markwalder
  • G. N. Thalmann
  • U. E. Studer
Original Paper


Overexpression of p53, as determined by immunohistochemical staining with the murine monoclonal antibody DO7, was determined in specimens of 46 primary superficial transitional cell bladder tumours (14 TaG2, 10 T1G2, 22 T1G3). A colon cancer specimen served as a positive control and normal mesenchymal cells in the specimens served as an internal negative control. An exceptionally high proportion 36/46 (78%) of the specimens were found to stain positively for p53 in over 20% of the cell nuclei. After a median follow-up of 7 years, ten patients developed progressive disease. Of these ten patients nine demonstrated p53 positivity, resulting in a sensitivity of 90%. However, 27 of the overall 36 patients (75%) with p53-positive tumours did not progress to a higher stage or metastatic disease. These findings suggest that p53 overexpression is not of predictive prognostic value in superficial transitional cell carcinoma. With 7 of 14 specimens (50%) of Ta tumours overexpressing p53, the results were suggestive of p53 mutation being an early event in carcinogenesis. When the threshold was set at 50% of the cell nuclei overexpressing p53, 16/46 (35%) classified as p53 positive. Of the 16 tumours staining positively for p53, 7 (46%) progressed and 9 (56%) did not. None of the Ta and 16 (50%) of the T1 tumours classified as positive. This more stringent definition of positivity still does not identify p53 positivity as a single prognostic factor. With 50% of T1 tumours classifying as positive, we still find that p53 mutation may be an early event in carcinogenesis of bladder cancer.

Key words

Bladder tumour Carcinogenesis p53 tumour-suppressor gene Disease progression Immunohistochemistry 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. C. Burkhard
    • 1
  • R. Markwalder
    • 2
  • G. N. Thalmann
    • 1
  • U. E. Studer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of UrologyUniversity of BerneBerneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of BerneBerneSwitzerland

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