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Immunostain in short

p63 staining in squamous epithelium with dysplasia.
Similar stains p40 (more specific for squamous cell carcinoma)
Use breast pathology (invasion vs. in situ), prostate pathology (HGPIN vs. cancer), lung (adenocarcinoma vs. squamous)
Normal staining pattern nuclear staining
Positive squamous cell carcinoma, urothelial carcinoma
Negative prostate carcinoma, most lung adenocarcinoma, breast carcinoma

p63 is a commonly used immunostain. p63, like most other "p" stains, is a nuclear stain.


  • Nuclear staining.
  • Stains basal cells in a normal squamous epithelium.
    • Superficial cells are typically negative.
    • In dysplasia, the staining is seen more superficially,[1] as one might expect as most squamous carcinomas are positive for p63.



Positive - common use

Invasive versus in situ

Thresholding (invasive vs. pre-invasive):

  • Prostate basal cell marker.
  • Breast myoepithelial cell marker.


Negative p63 staining in a poorly differentiated carcinoma.

Non-classic tumours

See also


  1. Houghton, O.; McCluggage, WG. (Sep 2009). "The expression and diagnostic utility of p63 in the female genital tract.". Adv Anat Pathol 16 (5): 316-21. doi:10.1097/PAP.0b013e3181b507c6. PMID 19700941.
  2. Martin, SE.; Temm, CJ.; Goheen, MP.; Ulbright, TM.; Hattab, EM. (Oct 2011). "Cytoplasmic p63 immunohistochemistry is a useful marker for muscle differentiation: an immunohistochemical and immunoelectron microscopic study.". Mod Pathol 24 (10): 1320-6. doi:10.1038/modpathol.2011.89. PMID 21623385.
  3. Lewis, JS.; Ritter, JH.; El-Mofty, S. (Nov 2005). "Alternative epithelial markers in sarcomatoid carcinomas of the head and neck, lung, and bladder-p63, MOC-31, and TTF-1.". Mod Pathol 18 (11): 1471-81. doi:10.1038/modpathol.3800451. PMID 15976812.
  4. Pu, RT.; Pang, Y.; Michael, CW. (Jan 2008). "Utility of WT-1, p63, MOC31, mesothelin, and cytokeratin (K903 and CK5/6) immunostains in differentiating adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant mesothelioma in effusions.". Diagn Cytopathol 36 (1): 20-5. doi:10.1002/dc.20747. PMID 18064689.
  5. Di Como, CJ.; Urist, MJ.; Babayan, I.; Drobnjak, M.; Hedvat, CV.; Teruya-Feldstein, J.; Pohar, K.; Hoos, A. et al. (Feb 2002). "p63 expression profiles in human normal and tumor tissues.". Clin Cancer Res 8 (2): 494-501. PMID 11839669.
  6. Jo, VY.; Fletcher, CD. (Nov 2011). "p63 immunohistochemical staining is limited in soft tissue tumors.". Am J Clin Pathol 136 (5): 762-6. doi:10.1309/AJCPXNUC7JZSKWEU. PMID 22031315.