M Köbel, AM Piskorz, S Lee, S Lui, C LePage, F Marass, N Rosenfeld, A-M Mes Masson, JD Brenton
J Pathol Clin Res
TP53 mutations are ubiquitous in high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas (HGSOC), and the presence of TP53 mutation discriminates between high and low-grade serous carcinomas and is now an important biomarker for clinical trials targeting mutant p53. p53 immunohistochemistry (IHC) is widely used as a surrogate for TP53 mutation but its accuracy has not been established. The objective of this study was to test whether improved methods for p53 IHC could reliably predict TP53 mutations independently identified by next generation sequencing (NGS). Four clinical p53 IHC assays and tagged-amplicon NGS for TP53 were performed on 171 HGSOC and 80 endometrioid carcinomas (EC). p53 expression was scored as overexpression (OE), complete absence (CA), cytoplasmic (CY) or wild type (WT). p53 IHC was evaluated as a binary classifier where any abnormal staining predicted deleterious TP53 mutation and as a ternary classifier where OE, CA or WT staining predicted gain-of-function (GOF or nonsynonymous), loss-of-function (LOF including stopgain, indel, splicing) or no detectable TP53 mutations (NDM), respectively. Deleterious TP53 mutations were detected in 169/171 (99%) HGSOC and 7/80 (8.8%) EC. The overall accuracy for the best performing IHC assay for binary and ternary prediction was 0.94 and 0.91 respectively, which improved to 0.97 (sensitivity 0.96, specificity 1.00) and 0.95 after secondary analysis of discordant cases. The sensitivity for predicting LOF mutations was lower at 0.76 because p53 IHC detected mutant p53 protein in 13 HGSOC with LOF mutations. CY staining associated with LOF was seen in 4 (2.3%) of HGSOC. Optimized p53 IHC can approach 100% specificity for the presence of TP53 mutation and its high negative predictive value is clinically useful as it can exclude the possibility of a low-grade serous tumour. 4.1% of HGSOC cases have detectable WT staining while harboring a TP53 LOF mutation, which limits sensitivity for binary prediction of mutation to 96%.