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||Oral contraceptives, reproductive factors and p53 gene expression in colorectal cancer.
||Freedman AN, Michalek AM, Troisi R, Mettlin CJ, Petrelli NJ, Asirwatham JE, Caporaso N
||EBP, MEB, ITEB
||Protective effects of oral contraceptives and high parity on the development of colorectal cancer have been hypothesized. However, the epidemiological data are inconsistent. This inconsistency may be due in part to the biological heterogeneity of colorectal tumors. A recent investigation of hepatocellular carcinoma demonstrated an association between lack of p53 expression and oral contraceptive use. We investigated the relationship between oral contraceptive use and other reproductive factors with p53 over-expression in 64 post-menopausal women, 45-86 years of age, with non-familial colorectal adenocarcinoma. Fifty per cent (32/64) of colorectal tumors displayed nuclear over-expression of p53 protein. Women with a history of oral contraceptive use were significantly less likely to have p53 positive (+) tumors than women who never used oral contraceptives (P = 0.02). In contrast, tumors from women who had never been pregnant were more likely to be p53 + compared to tumors from parous women (P = 0.10). These data suggest that oral contraceptive use and pregnancy are associated with a p53 independent pathway in the development of colorectal cancer.