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Immunohistochemical demonstration of the p53 tumour suppressor gene product in cancer of the pancreas and chronic pancreatitis

, : Immunohistochemical demonstration of the p53 tumour suppressor gene product in cancer of the pancreas and chronic pancreatitis. Journal Of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 8(5): 465-469

The p53 tumour suppressor gene and its protein products after point mutations are currently attracting wide attention in the investigation of human tumours. In this study we present the findings on percutaneous pancreatic biopsies of 82 cases after routine processing and immunostaining for the polyclonal p53 antibody CM1, an antibody directed against both wild and mutant forms of p53 protein. There were 51 carcinomas, 5 islet cell tumours, 16 cases of chronic pancreatitis (including one with atypical ductal epithelium) and seven histologically normal pancreatic biopsy specimens. None of the seven normal cases showed any definite nuclear immunostaining for p53. Thirty-two (63%) of the pancreatic adenocarcinomas showed moderate to intense immunoreactivity. Of the 16 cases of chronic pancreatitis, 11 were negative and three showed equivocal immunostaining. The one case with ductal epithelial atypia showed mild to moderate immunoreactivity. All islet cell tumours were negative. The expression of the p53 gene, therefore, appears increased in the majority of pancreatic adenocarcinomas while this is not observed in chronic pancreatitis or normal pancreatic tissue. Nuclear immunoreactivity for p53 protein may represent mutant forms because of the short half-life of the wild-type protein. The lack of p53 expression in some cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma may be due to different types of mutant proteins not detectable by the CM1 antibody. Nuclear immunoreactivity to the p53 protein in pancreatic biopsy is more suggestive of a malignant tumour than chronic pancreatitis.


PMID: 8218996

DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.1993.tb01550.x

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