The p21 overexpression is thought to be a consequence of the p53 induced activation of the p21 gene. The immunohistochemical evaluation of p53 and p21 can be a valuable means of assessing the functional status of the p53 gene product. We examined the overexpression of p21 and p53 proteins in primary gastric lymphomas and the correlation with prognosis. A total of 32 cases of gastric lymphomas was classified into low-grade lymphomas of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue type (n=16) and high-grade B-cell lymphomas (n=16). In low-grade lymphomas, only one case showed p53 positivity and all cases were p21-negative. In high-grade lymphomas, seven cases were p53+/p21- (44%), one case was p53+/p21+ (6%), and eight cases were p53-/p21- (50%). The p53+/p21- cases had a much lower percentage of patients sustaining a continuous complete remission state (3/7, 43%) compared with other cases (6/7, 86%). From these results, we concluded that p21 expression is rare in primary gastric lymphomas. Therefore, p53-positive lymphomas can be assumed as having p53 mutation. And combined studies of p53 and p21 may be used as a prognostic indicator in primary gastric high-grade lymphomas
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