Bcl-2 immunohistochemistry in a surgical series of non-small cell lung cancer patients

M. V. Fleming, Jr Guinee, W. S. Chu, A. N. Freedman, N. E. Caporaso, W. P. Bennett, T. V. Colby, H. Tazelaar, S. L. Abbondanzo, J. Jett, P. Pairolero, V. Trastek, L. A. Liotta, C. C. Harris, W. D. Travis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The bcl-2 gene is implicated in oncogenesis by its ability to prolong cell survival through the inhibition of apoptosis, without increasing cell proliferation. An association between immunohistochemical staining for bcl-2 protein and the histological type and prognosis of non-small cell carcinoma was hypothesized by Pezzella et al. (N Engl J Med 329:690-694, 1993). In a case series, we stained formalin-fixed, paraffin-bedded tumor tissue from 106 surgical non-small cell lung cancer patients with an antibody to bcl-2 protein (DAKO clone 124, Carpinteria, CA). The resulting bcl-2 staining data were evaluated for associations with demographic, histological, immunohistochemical, and genetic features, including p53 mutations. Bcl-2 staining was observed in tumors from 29 of 106 (27%) of subjects, but was significantly less frequent in subjects' adenocarcinoma histology (8 of 55, 14.6%) (P = .007). This finding persisted after adjustment for age, gender, stage, grade, smoking history, and disease-free survival. In univariate analyses, no association was seen with age, weight, body mass index, gender, or pack-years smoking; tumor grade, stage, or patient performance status; p53 or c-erbB2 immunohistochemical staining, or p53 mutations. These data agree with earlier reports that bcl-2 staining is less common in adenocarcinomas; however, our data do not support the hypothesis that bcl-2 staining confers a better prognosis overall, in squamous cell carcinoma, or in an older patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-64
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Apoptosis
  • Bcl-2
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung carcinoma
  • Non-small cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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