TP53 mutations as potential prognostic markers for specific cancers: analysis of data from The Cancer Genome Atlas and the International Agency for Research on Cancer TP53 Database

  • Victor D. Li
  • Karen H. LiEmail author
  • John T. Li
Original Article – Cancer Research



Mutations in the tumor suppressor gene TP53 are associated with a variety of cancers. Therefore, it is important to know the occurrence and prognostic effects of TP53 mutations in certain cancers.


Over 29,000 cases from the April 2016 release of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) TP53 Database were analyzed to determine the distribution of germline and somatic mutations in the TP53 gene. Subsequently, 7,893 cancer cases were compiled in cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics from the 33 most recent The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) studies to determine the prevalence of TP53 mutations in cancers and their effects on survival and disease-free survival times.


The data were analyzed, and it was found that the majority of TP53 mutations were missense and the major mutational hotspots were located at codons 248, 273, 175, and 245 in exons 4–8 for somatic mutations with the addition of codon 337 and other mutations in exons 9–10 for germline mutations. Out of 33 TGCA studies, the effects of TP53 mutations were statistically significant in nine cancers (lung adenocarcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, acute myeloid leukemia, clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC), papillary RCC, chromophobe RCC, uterine endometrial carcinoma, and thymoma) for survival time and in five cancers (pancreatic adenocarcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, chromophobe RCC, acute myeloid leukemia, and thymoma) for disease-free survival time. It was also found that the most common p53 mutation in hepatocellular carcinomas (R249S) was a much better indicator for poor prognosis than TP53 mutations as a whole. In addition, in cases of ovarian serous cystadenocarcinoma, the co-occurrence of TP53 and BRCA mutations resulted in longer survival and disease-free survival times than the presence of neither TP53 nor BRCA mutations.


TP53 mutations are potential prognostic markers that can be used to further improve the accuracy of predicting survival and disease-free survival times of cancer patients.


TP53 p53 Cancer Prognostic marker 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ScienceThe Wheatley SchoolOld WestburyUSA

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