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p27, cyclin D1, and retinoblastoma (Rb) protein have been demonstrated using immunohistochemistry in 189 cases of primary breast carcinoma with long-term follow-up. There was a statistically significant association between the expression of p27 and both cyclin D1 and the retinoblastoma gene product (pRb), corresponding to their close interactions in regulating the G1/S transition in the cell cycle. Low levels of p27 were seen in high-grade, rapidly proliferating, oestrogen receptor-negative tumours. In univariate analysis, low p27 expression was associated with a reduced relapse-free and overall survival. In multivariate analysis, p27 was not an independent predictor of survival when either histological grade or proliferative activity (S-phase fraction) was included in the model. When the combined expression of p27 and cyclin D1 was related to survival, patients with high levels of p27, regardless of their cyclin D1 status, did well, whilst those with low p27 had a poor outcome. The only exception, in the latter group, was patients with tumours expressing high levels of cyclin D1, who did as well as the high p27 group. We have shown that in clinical material p27 expression is associated with proliferative activity and while univariate analysis shows it to be a significant indicator of prognosis, this significance is lost in multivariate analysis when traditional prognostic factors are included in the model. The interest in p27 expression in mammary carcinoma lies in its behaviour when examined in combination with other G1 cell cycle regulators.

Original publication




Journal article


J Pathol

Publication Date





200 - 206


Biomarkers, Tumor, Breast Neoplasms, Cell Cycle Proteins, Cyclin D1, Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27, Cyclin-Dependent Kinases, Disease-Free Survival, Enzyme Inhibitors, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Microtubule-Associated Proteins, Neoplasm Proteins, Prognosis, Retinoblastoma Protein, Survival Rate, Tumor Suppressor Proteins