Absence of the cell cycle inhibitor p27(Kip1) protein predicts poor outcome in patients with stage I-III colorectal cancer

Claudio Belluco, Giovanni Esposito, Roberta Bertorelle, Annarosa Del Mistro, Ambrogio Fassina, Giulia Vieceli, Luigi Chieco-Bianchi, Donato Nitti, Mario Lise

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Background: The p27(Kip1) protein regulates the G1 to S phase transition of cell cycle by binding to and inhibiting the cyclin E/Cdk2 complex. This study explores the prognostic significance of the absence of the p27(Kip1) protein in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). Methods: Formalin-fixed tumor sections from 124 patients who underwent curative resection for stage I-III CRC were analyzed by immunohistochemistry using MoAb anti-p27(Kip1). Results: Detectable levels of p27(Kip1) protein were found in 86% of tumors. Median follow-up was 55 months. Actuarial 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were 76% and 85%, respectively, in patients with tumors with p27(Kip1) protein expression and 34% and 40%, respectively, in those whose tumors lacked p27(Kip1) protein expression (P <.001). At multivariate analysis, tumor stage (III vs. I-II) and p27(Kip1) protein status (absence vs. presence) were found to be independent prognostic factors for DFS and OS. Conclusions: Lack of p27(Kip1) protein expression in CRC is a negative prognostic marker and may therefore be useful in selecting early- stage patients more likely to benefit from adjuvant treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999



  • Cell cycle inhibitors.
  • Colorectal carcinoma
  • p27(Kip1) protein
  • Prognostic markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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