p53 immunohistochemistry in endometrial cancer: clinical and molecular correlates in the PORTEC-3 trial

TransPORTEC consortium, Lisa Vermij, Alicia Léon-Castillo, Naveena Singh, M. E. Powell, R. Edmondson, Catherine Genestie, Pearly Khaw, Jan Pyman, C. Meg McLachlin, Prafull Ghatage, Stephanie M. de Boer, Hans W. Nijman, Vincent T.H.B.M. Smit, Emma J. Crosbie, Alexandra Leary, Carien L. Creutzberg, Nanda Horeweg, Tjalling Bosse

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Standard molecular classification of endometrial cancers (EC) is now endorsed by the WHO and identifies p53-abnormal (p53abn) EC as the subgroup with the poorest prognosis and the most likely to benefit from adjuvant chemo(radio)therapy. P53abn EC are POLE wildtype, mismatch repair proficient and show abnormal immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for p53. Correct interpretation of routinely performed p53 IHC has therefore become of paramount importance. We aimed to comprehensively investigate abnormal p53 IHC patterns and their relation to clinicopathological and molecular features. Tumor material of 411 molecularly classified high-risk EC from consenting patients from the PORTEC-3 clinical trial were collected. p53 IHC was successful in 408 EC and was considered abnormal when the tumor showed a mutant expression pattern (including subclonal): overexpression, null or cytoplasmic. The presence of pathogenic mutations was determined by next generation sequencing (NGS). Abnormal p53 expression was observed in 131/408 (32%) tumors. The most common abnormal p53 IHC pattern was overexpression (n = 89, 68%), followed by null (n = 12, 9%) and cytoplasmic (n = 3, 2%). Subclonal abnormal p53 staining was observed in 27 cases (21%), which was frequently but not exclusively, associated with POLE mutations and/or MMRd (n = 22/27; p < 0.001). Agreement between p53 IHC and TP53 NGS was observed in 90.7%, resulting in a sensitivity and specificity of 83.6% and 94.3%, respectively. Excluding POLEmut and MMRd EC, as per the WHO-endorsed algorithm, increased the accuracy to 94.5% with sensitivity and specificity of 95.0% and 94.1%, respectively. Our data shows that awareness of the abnormal p53 IHC patterns are prerequisites for correct EC molecular classification. Subclonal abnormal p53 expression is a strong indicator for POLEmut and/or MMRd EC. No significant differences in clinical outcomes were observed among the abnormal p53 IHC patterns. Our data support use of the WHO-endorsed algorithm and combining the different abnormal p53 IHC patterns into one diagnostic entity (p53abn EC).

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftModern Pathology
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 25-jun-2022

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