Scientific publications

Prognostic impact of P53 status in Ewing sarcoma

de Alava E, Antonescu CR, Panizo A, Leung D, Meyers PA, Huvos AG, Pardo-Mindán FJ, Healey JH, Ladanyi M.
Department of Pathology, Clínica Universitaria de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain

Magazine: Cancer

Date: Aug 15, 2000

Pathological Anatomy [SP]

Disease stage at the time of diagnosis and response to therapy are the main prognostic factors for patients with Ewing sarcoma or peripheral neuroectodermal tumor (ES/PNET). The primary genetic alteration in ES/PNET, the fusion of the EWS gene with FLI1 or ERG, is diagnostically highly specific for these tumors, and molecular variation in the structure of the EWS-FLI1 fusion gene also is of prognostic significance. In contrast, secondary genetic alterations, such as P53 alterations, are relatively uncommon in ES/PNET, and their prognostic impact has not been extensively studied.

Prechemotherapy, paraffin embedded, nondecalcified, primary tumor material in a well-characterized series of 55 patients with ES/PNET with defined EWS-FLI1 fusion transcripts (32 patients with type 1 and 23 patients with other types) was studied retrospectively by immunohistochemical techniques for cell cycle regulators and proliferative markers, such as P53, P21(WAF1), and Ki-67, as well as by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) technique for apoptosis. Nuclear P53 expression in > 20% of tumor cells was scored as aberrant overexpression. Histologic response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy was assessed.

Aberrant P53 expression (in > 20% of tumor cells) was present in 6 patients (11%) but showed no statistically significant correlation with disease stage, tumor size, proliferation rate (Ki-67), apoptotic rate (TUNEL), or EWS-FLI1 fusion type. By univariate analysis, the P53 > 20% group showed a significantly poorer overall survival among patients with localized disease (n = 43 patients) (P = 0.001) and in the entire study group (P = 0.01). In multivariate Cox analyses of overall survival, P53 > 20% was the strongest negative factor among prognostic factors available at the time of diagnosis (P = 0.001; relative risk [RR] = 9) and when chemotherapy response was included in the analysis (P53 > 20%: P = 0.01; RR = 10).

P53 alteration appears to define a small clinical subset of patients with ES/PNET with a markedly poor outcome. The current observations warrant a systematic prospective study with comprehensive P53 mutation analysis.

CITATION  Cancer. 2000 Aug 15;89(4):783-92

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