p53 expression patterns in colorectal adenomas and early carcinomas: A special reference to depressed adenoma and non-polypoid carcinoma

Takashi Yao, Takashi Utsunomiya, Eishi Nagai, Masafumi Oya, Masazumi Tsuneyoshi

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of p53 in tumor progression of colorectal adenomas and early carcinomas, while especially focusing on flat tumors (depressed adenomas and non-polypoid carcinomas). Paraffin sections of 61 pure adenomas (33 polypoid, 28 depressed), 26 carcinomas in polypoid adenoma (CIA) and 63 pure carcinomas (36 polypoid, 27 non-polypoid) were examined for immunostaining using p53 monoclonal antibody (PAb 1801). All of the carcinomas were restricted to the mucosa. The number and distribution of the p53 positive tumor cells was evaluated, and then compared with tumor growth patterns and histological features. The incidence of p53 expression in carcinomas (58% in CIA and 51% in pure carcinomas) was significantly higher than that in polypoid adenoma (27% in CIA and 21% in pure adenomas). However, the same incidence in depressed adenomas (51%) was significantly higher than in polypoid adenomas. No correlation in carcinomas was observed between p53 expression and clinicopathologic data except for age. The distribution of p53 positive cells was different between adenomas and carcinomas. There tended to be fewer p53 positive cells in adenomas, even in depressed ones, than in carcinomas and they also tended to be confined to the superficial areas in adenomas, while they were diffusely distributed in carcinomas. Interestingly, the p53 positive cells were more frequently present in the deep mucosal areas than in the superficial areas of some nonpolypoid carcinomas. In conclusion, the following hypotheses are suggested: (i) the increase of p53 expression from adenoma to carcinoma supports the hypothesis of an adenoma-carcinoma sequence in a polypoid tumor; (ii) the unique p53 expression in non-polypoid carcinoma suggests the existence of another type of carcinogenesis; and (iii) depressed adenomas are thus considered to have a high potential risk of carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)962-967
Number of pages6
JournalPathology International
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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