The p53 tumor suppressor gene
p53 was originally considered to be a nuclear oncogene, but several convergent lines of research have indicated that the wild-type gene functions as a tumor suppressor gene negatively regulating the cell cycle. Mutations in the p53 gene have been detected in many tumor types and seem to be the most common genetic alterations in human cancer. In this preliminary study, sera of 92 patients (pts) with breast disease were analyzed for the presence of the mutant p53 protein (mp53) with a selective immunoenzyme assay employing a monoclonal antibody (PAb 240) specific for the majority of mammalian m p53 but not for the wild-type protein. Of the 10 patients with benign breast disease, only two (20%) showed detectable m p53 levels in the serum. In the breast cancer group, sera from 7 of the 30 pts (23%) without lymph node involvement were positive for m p53, as were 7 out of the 45 pts (15%) with metastatic lymph nodes and 1 out of the 7 pts (14%) with disseminated disease. The specifity of m p53 assay evaluated in 20 healthy controls was 100%. These preliminary results showed that serum positivity for m p53 is not related to breast disease extension. Further studies to assess the utility of m p53 as a possible prognosis factor in breast cancer are currently in progress.
KeywordsBreast Cancer Breast Disease Benign Breast Disease Breast Cancer Group Breast Disease
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