Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Tumor Biomarker Series: TP53

A few month ago, the College of American Pathologists released a Template for Reporting Results of Biomarker Testing of Specimens from Patients with Tumors of the Central Nervous System. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to review as succintly as possible the various tumor biomarkers one could use to interrogate CNS tumors. Not all neuropathologists would agree as to which ones, if any, are essential. So, comments are most welcome! The first biomarker I'd like to address is TP53, mainly because I have doubts about it's utility -- except for cases where there is a question regarding whether or not an oligodendroglial component is present. However, immunohistochemical p53 testing is performed on virtually all high-grade astrocytomas at many institutions. Here's a summary of the CAP consensus description of the TP53 test:

Found in a majority of high-grade astrocytic tumors, TP53 mutation is rare in oligodendrogliomas. Mutation of TP53 is highly correlated with IDH mutation. As a surrogate for testing the actual TP53 mutation, p53 immunohistochemistry is typically performed. As for the utility of this test, the CAP template makes the following statement: "[T]here is a strong association between IDH1 mutation and TP53 mutation in diffuse astrocytomas and this combination of mutations is helpful in distinguishing astrocytomas from oligodendrogliomas."

My feeling is that if you have a histomorphologically classic pure astrocytic neoplasm, there is no need for p53 immunohistochemistry. And, yet, you almost always see p53 immunohistochemistry results on reports for classic glioblastomas, anaplastic astrocytomas, and infiltrative astrocytomas. I just don't get it. Even in cases where you have a question about the presence of an oligodendroglial component, testing for IDH1 mutation and 1p/19q deletion would be more helpful than testing for IDH1 and TP53. I would love to hear from people who could dissuade me of this opinion regarding the utility of p53 immunohistochemistry. Feel free to enter comments below.

1 comment:

Agent 86 said...

During my (mercifully brief) stint as a GYN pathologist, I became accustomed to the all or nothing immunohistochemical reaction that correlated well with p53 mutation in high grade serous carcinomas. Unfortunately, I've never gained clarity on the relationship between p53 IHC and mutation status in gliomas.