In 47 patients with thyroid tumours (14 follicular and 3 papillary carcinomas, 14 adenomas and 16 goitres), the DNA was screened for mutations of BAX (exon 1-6) and p53 (exon 5-8) by single-strand conformation polymorphism polymerase chain reaction (SSCP-PCR). The levels of p53, BAX, BCLl-2 and p21 mRNA expression were assessed by real time RT-QPCR and the presence of respective proteins in the vessel wall was confirmed by immunohistochemistry.