Inactivation of the p53 tumor suppressor gene is one of the most frequent genetic alterations observed in human esophageal carcinomas. In patients with esophageal carcinoma, one of the significant pathological features of the tumor is the presence of multiple lesions within the esophagus. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the occurrence of multiple lesions have remained elusive. To characterize p53 alterations in multiple esophageal carcinomas and to study their roles in carcinogenesis, we performed p53 immunohistochemical and p53 mutation analyses using laser capture microdissection on surgically resected human esophageal carcinomas from 11 patients: 9 patients with multiple esophageal carcinomas, 1 with an intramural metastasis lesion within the esophagus and 1 with an intraepithelial carcinoma lesion contiguous to the main lesion. In each of the patients with multiple esophageal carcinomas, we examined samples from 1 main lesion and 1 representative concomitant lesion. Molecular analyses of samples from fresh-frozen normal tissues and tumor tissues of the main lesion (whole tumor) were also performed by the same method. p53 protein accumulation was observed in 16 (72.7%) of 22 lesions from the 11 cases. No p53 mutation was found in normal esophageal tissues. In the 9 cases of multiple esophageal carcinomas, point mutations were detected in the whole tumor in 1 (11.1%) case, in the microdissected tumor samples of main lesions in 3 (33.3%) cases and in the microdissected tumor samples of concomitant lesions in 3 (33.3%) cases. For the microdissected tumor samples, there was a 54.5% (12/22) concordance rate between the results of immunostaining and molecular analysis. In the 8 cases of whole tumors in which a p53 mutation was not observed, 2 cases revealed p53 mutation in the microdissected tumor samples of the main lesion. All 6 cases of multiple esophageal carcinomas that showed a p53 mutation in the microdissected tumor sample had a discordant p53 mutational status between the main and concomitant lesions. In contrast, both the intramural metastasis lesion and the intraepithelial carcinoma contiguous to the main lesion showed p53 mutational patterns identical to those of the main lesions. In conclusion, the analysis of microdissected DNA by laser capture microdissection is useful for characterizing the heterogeneity of the p53 gene mutation in multiple carcinoma lesions that cannot be accurately analyzed in whole esophageal tumor DNA. The finding of different p53 gene mutations among multiple esophageal carcinoma lesions suggest further evidence of multicentric or field carcinogenesis of the human esophagus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research