In order to characterize p53 alterations in esophageal cancer and to study their roles in carcinogenesis, we performed gene mutation and immunohistochemical analysis on 43 surgically resected human esophageal specimens, which contain squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adjacent non-cancerous lesions, from a high-incidence area of Linzhou in Henan, China. A newly developed immunohisto-selective sequencing (IHSS) method was used to enrich the p53 immunostain-positive cells for mutation analysis. p53 gene mutations were detected in 30 out of 43 (70%) SCC cases. Among 29 SCC cases that were stained positive for p53 protein, 25 (86%) were found to contain p53 mutations. In five cases of SCC with homogeneous p53 staining, the same mutation was observed in samples taken from four different positions of each tumor. In a well differentiated cancer nest, p53 mutation was detected in only the peripheral p53-positive cells. In tumor areas with heterogeneous p53 staining, either the area stained positive for p53 had an additional mutation to the negatively stained area or both areas lacked any detectable p53 mutation. In the p53-positive non-cancerous lesions adjacent to cancer, p53 mutations were detected in seven out of 16 (47%) samples with basal cell hyperplasia (BCH), eight out of 12 (67%) samples with dysplasia (DYS), and six out of seven (86%) samples with carcinoma in situ (CIS). All mutations found in lesions with DYS and CIS were the same as those in the nearby SCC. In seven cases of BCH containing mutations, only three had the same mutations as the nearby SCC. The results suggest that p53 mutation is an early event in esophageal carcinogenesis occurring in most of the DYS and CIS lesions, and cells with such mutations will progress to carcinoma, whereas the role of p53 mutations in BCH is less clear.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research