Bcl-2 antisense therapy in B-cell malignancies

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37 Scopus citations


Bcl-2 is an apoptosis regulating protein, overexpression of which is associated with chemotherapy resistant disease, aggressive clinical course, and poor survival in patients with B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders. Overexpression of Bcl-2 protein results in an aberrant intrinsic apoptotic pathway that confers a protective effect on malignant cells against a death signal (e.g., chemotherapy or radiotherapy). Downregulation of this oncoprotein, thus, represents a possible new way to target clinically aggressive disease. Preclinical studies have shown that this oncoprotein can be effectively decreased by Bcl-2 antisense in malignant lymphoid cells and can reverse chemotherapy resistance, as well as enhance the antiapoptotic potential of both chemotherapeutic and biologic agents. Ongoing clinical trials are exploring the role of Bcl-2 downregulation with oblimersen (Bcl-2 antisense) in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and multiple myeloma. Early results from these studies are promising and support the proof of the principle. As these studies are completed and mature data emerges, the role of Bcl-2 antisense therapy in the treatment of B-cell malignancies will become clearer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalBlood Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Antisense
  • Bcl-2
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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