Sebaceous carcinoma. Tumor progression through mutational inactivation of p53

F Gonzalez-FernandezP A Levine


Sebaceous carcinoma may masquerade for years as an inflammatory condition. In many cases, this may be because of the presence of longstanding intraepithelial disease (e.g., dysplasia or carcinoma in situ), which eventually progresses to invasive carcinoma recognized through tumefaction and a worsening clinical presentation. The mechanism for this tumor progression is unknown. In the Far East, human papilloma virus (HPV) has been suggested to play a role in the development of sebaceous carcinoma by inactivating tumor suppressor gene p53. Here, the authors explore the molecular basis of the progression of ocular sebaceous carcinoma. Cases of sebaceous carcinoma seen at the University of Virginia, Department of Ophthalmology, during the period from 1989 to 1996 were analyzed for HPV infection by in situ hybridization and polymerase chain reaction. The expression of p53, p21WAF-1, Bcl-2, and epithelial membrane antigen was examined by immunohistochemistry. In one of the cases, frozen tumor was available, allowing exons 5 through 9 of the p53 gene to be sequenced. Seven cases were identified, all of which were from women. All were negative for HPV. In cases in which disease was restricted to dysplasia (carcinoma in situ), p53 but no...Continue Reading


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