Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 205–212

p16INK4a protein expression is associated with poor survival of the breast cancer patients after CMF chemotherapy

  • Sehwan Han
  • Sei-Hyun Ahn
  • Kyeongmee Park
  • Byung-Noe Bae
  • Ki Hwan Kim
  • Hong-Joo Kim
  • Young-Duck Kim
  • Hong-Yong Kim


Immunohistochemical assay for p16 protein expession was performed in 192 breast carcinoma patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. p16 expression was observed in 78 cases (40.6%). The frequency of p16 expression significantly decreased in moderately differentiated (histologic grade II) cancers, 20 (19.6%) of 102. In poorly differentiated cancers (histologic grade III), p16 expression was not observed in all 16 cases. p16 expression was significantly associated with histologic grade of the breast carcinomas (p < 0.001). The proliferative index (PI: S + G2/M) of individual tumors was measured by DNA flow cytometry. In 114 tumors with PI less than 20%, p16 expression was observed in 59 tumors (49.1%). In the tumors with PI equal or more than 20%, p16 expression was observed in 22 (28.2%) of 78 cases. p16 expression was significantly decreased in the tumor with higher PI (p = 0.003). For the other clinicopathologic variables, no significant association was found with p16 expression status. Immunohistochemical assay for p53 protein expression was performed on the same breast carcinomas. There was no significant association between p16 and p53 expression in breast carcinomas. During median follow-up period of 52 months (range: 40–72 months), 46 patients (25.8%) had recurrent disease and 32 patients (18.91%) died of recurrent disease. p16 expression was observed in 20 (43.5%) of 46 patients with recurrent disease, while its expression was observed in 58 patients (39.7%) of 146 patients who were free of recurrence during the study period. p16 expression had no significant impact on predicting recurrence of breast carcinoma. Fourteen patients (12.2%) of 114 patients whose tumors did not show p16 expression died of recurrent breast carcinoma, whereas 18 patients (23.1%) of 78 patients with p16 expressing tumor died during the follow-up period. There was a significant difference of patient survival according to p16 expression status (p = 0.039). These results indicate that p16 expression is useful in predicting response to chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. p16 protein seems to have a role in tumor growth and differentiation of the breast carcinoma.

breast carcinoma chemotherapy immunohistochemistry p16INK4a prognosis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sehwan Han
    • 1
  • Sei-Hyun Ahn
    • 2
  • Kyeongmee Park
    • 3
  • Byung-Noe Bae
    • 1
  • Ki Hwan Kim
    • 1
  • Hong-Joo Kim
    • 1
  • Young-Duck Kim
    • 1
  • Hong-Yong Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of SurgeryInje University Sanggye Paik HospitalSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryAsan Medical CenterSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Departments of PathologyInje University Sanggye Paik HospitalSeoulKorea

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