• cyclin B1;
  • p53;
  • G2-M checkpoint;
  • esophageal squamous cell carcinoma



It has been reported that p53 regulates the G2-M checkpoint transition through cyclin B1, and it has been suggested that p53 plays an important role in the development and progression of various malignancies. The objective of the current study was to clarify the role of the cell cycle regulators, cyclin B1 and p53, in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).


Tissue samples from 71 patients with ESCC were included in the current study. Expression levels of cyclin B1 and p53 in samples of normal squamous epithelium, dysplasia, and tumor cells from patients with ESCC were analyzed by immunohistochemistry.


Several cells in the basement layer of normal epithelium expressed cyclin B1. The number of cyclin B1 positive cells tended to increase as the degree of dysplasia increased from low grade to high grade. More than 20% of tumor cells were cyclin B1 positive in 38 patients (49.3%). Several clinicopathologic parameters, including macroscopic configuration (P < 0.01), pathologic tumor status (P < 0.05), pathologic lymph node status (P < 0.001), pathologic metastatic status (P < 0.01), tumor stage (P < 0.0001), and invasion of lymphatic vessels (P < 0.05), were correlated with the overexpression of cyclin B1. Elevated expression levels of cyclin B1 also were correlated with a poor prognosis in patients with ESCC in univariate analysis (P < 0.0001) and multivariate analysis (P = 0.0135). In contrast, p53 expression exhibited no significant correlation with the level of cyclin B1 expression and was not associated with prognostic parameters in patients with ESCC.


These findings suggest that cyclin B1 is involved in the pathogenesis of carcinoma of the esophagus and that elevated levels of cyclin B1 expression, but not p53 expression, may indicate a poor prognosis for patients with ESCC. Cancer 2002;94:2874–81. © 2002 American Cancer Society.

DOI 10.1002/cncr.10542