Background: p16 and p53 genes are frequently mutated in triple negative breast cancer & prognostic value of these mutations have been shown; however, their role as immunohistochemical overexpression has not been fully validated. Therefore we aimed to evaluate the association of p16 and p53 overexpression in triple negative breast cancer with various prognostic parameters. Methods: Total 150 cases of triple negative breast cancers were selected from records of pathology department archives that underwent surgeries at Liaquat National hospital, Karachi from January 2008 till December 2013. ER, PR and Her2neu immunohistochemistry were re-performed to confirm triple negative status. p16 & p53 immunohistochemistry was performed on all cases and association with various clinicopathologic parameters was determined. Results: Mean age of the patients involved in the study was 48.9 years. Most of the patients presented at stage T2 with a high mean ki67 index i.e. 46.9%. 42.7% of cases had nodal metastasis. Although 84% cases were of invasive ductal carcinoma; however a significant proportion of cases were of metaplastic histology (9.3%). Fifty-one percent (76 cases) of cases showed positive p53 expression while 49% (74 cases) were negative. Higher percentage of p53 expression was found to correlate with higher T stage, high ki67 index and higher nodal stage. On the other hand, strong intensity of p53 expression was positively correlated with higher tumor grade and ki67 index. Seventy-one percent (98 cases) of cases showed positive p16 expression, whereas 24.8% (34 cases) were negative and 3.6% (5 cases) showed focal positive p16 expression. However, no significant association was found between p16 expression and various clinical and pathologic parameters. Similarly, no significant association of either p16 or p53 over-expression was noted with recurrence status of patients. Conclusion: On the basis of significant association of p53 over-expression with worse prognostic factors in triple negative breast cancer, therefore we suggest that more large scale studies are needed to validate this finding in loco-regional population. Moreover, high expression of p16 in triple negative breast cancer suggests a potential role of this biomarker in triple negative breast cancer pathogenesis which should be investigated with molecular based research in our population.
- Triple negative breast cancer