p53, A tumor suppressor gene, has been documented as the most frequently mutated gene in human cancers including non-melanoma skin tumors. It has been controversial whether the p53 gene mutation plays a major role for melanoma genesis. To examine the role of p53 in human malignant melanoma carcinogenesis, we performed immunohistochemical analysis using anti-p53 antibodies (CM-1 and DO-7) in microwaved paraffin sections. When cases having more than 1% reactive cells were regarded as positive, immunohistochemical analysis revealed that in primary melanomas 14 of 51 (27%) were positive with CM-1 or 15 of 51 (29%) were positive with DO-7. Tumor thickness of primary melanomas in p53 positive cases was significantly thicker than that in p53 negative cases. In metastatic melanomas, 35 of 41 (85%) lymph node metastases were positive with either antibody and in skin metastases 16 of 28 (57%) lesions with CM-1 or 18 of 28 (64%) lesions with DO-7 were positive. The mean percentages of reactive cells were 2.3% in primary lesions and 4.9% in metastases. The incidence of positivity was significantly higher in metastases than primary lesions. In 10 cases examined, with both primary and metastatic melanoma, 3 cases were negative in both lesions and 1 case was positive in both lesions, while 6 cases were negative in the primary lesions and positive only in metastatic lesions. Four Spitz nevi, 6 dysplastic nevi and 11 common nevi were all negative. These data suggest that the expression of p53 protein may be a late event in melanoma progression.
- p53 Protein
- Tumor progression