Differential p53 protein expression in breast cancer fine needle aspirates: the potential for in vivo monitoring

H M Ball, T R Hupp, D Ziyaie, C A Purdie, N M Kernohan, A M Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy is the least invasive method of sampling breast cancer in vivo and provides material for breast cancer diagnosis. FNA has also been used to examine cellular markers to predict and monitor the effects of therapy. The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of using FNA material compared with resected cancer for Western blotting studies of the p53 pathway, a key to tumour response to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Paired samples of breast cancer FNAs collected pre-operatively and post-operatively were compared with tissue samples obtained at the time of surgical resection. Western blots were probed for p53 using the antibodies DO12 and DO1, and for levels of downstream proteins p21/WAF1 and p27. The protein extracted by FNA was sufficient for up to 5 Western blot studies. p53 expression and phosphorylation did not differ significantly pre- and post-operatively, indicating that intra-operative manipulation does not affect p53 expression or downstream activation in breast cancer. However, expression of p53, p21 and p27 varied between individual patients suggesting a range of p53 pathway activation in breast cancer. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that the cancer cells accounted for the protein expression detected on Western blots. FNA yields adequate protein for Western blotting studies and could be used as a method to monitor p53 activity in vivo before and during anti-cancer treatment possibly providing early evidence of tumour response to therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1102-5
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2001

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53


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