Immunohistochemically detected over-expression of P53-related protein (P53+++) and absence of P21(waf1) expression (P21-) correspond to loss of function of the P53-gene in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients. Using immunohistochemistry we examined 80 patients with DLBCL and found that 23% had the P53+++/P21- phenotype while 51% had a germinal center (GC) pattern. Both the P53+++/P21- phenotype and the non-GC pattern were associated with inferior outcome. Notably, the prognostic power of the P53+++/P21- phenotype was restricted to patients with a GC pattern, without effect on outcome of patients with a non-GC phenotype. Our results show that immunohistochemistry can parallel gene expression profiling in addressing clinical variability of DLBCL patients.
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