Korean J Pathol.  1996 Mar;30(3):218-227.

Immunohistochemical Study of the Expression of the p53 Protein in Primary Lung Cancer

  • 1Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, 602-103 Pusan, Korea.


An immunohistochemical stain for p53 tumor suppressor gene product was performed in 59 primary lung cancers to study the relation between its expression and type of the tumor, degree of tumor differentiation,clinical stage and smoking. The results were as follows: 1. The expression of mutant p53 protein was noted in 28 of 59 cases(47.5%) of primary lung cancers. The p53 protein was expressed in 21 of 35(60%) squamous cell carcinomas, in 6 of 21(28.6%) adenocarcinomas, and 1 of 1(100%) small cell carcinoma. There was a significant difference in expression of p53 among the different histologic types of lung cancer(p<0.05). 2. The incidence of p53 protein expression did not correlate with the degree of tumor cell differentiation or the clinical stage of lung carcinoma(p>0.05). 3. The incidence of p53 protein expression was higher in smokers(current: 75%, former: 46.2%) than in non-smokers(5.6%) and was increased in direct proportion to the pack years. There was a statistically significant correlation between p53 expression and smoking(p<0.05). The mutation of p53 gene may often be an early event in the development of lung cancer and it is suggested that the smoking known as a risk factor for the development of the lung cancer may be associated with the transformation of p53 tumor suppressor gene into mutant p53 gene or oncogene.


Primary lung cancer; p53; Smoking; Immunohistochemical stain

MeSH Terms

Risk Factors
Genes, Tumor Suppressor
Lung Neoplasms
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