The bcl-2 oncoprotein directly prolongs cellular survival by blocking apoptosis and its overexpression is associated with cellular resistance to killing by chemotherapeutic drugs and gamma-irradiation. Meanwhile, it has been shown that bcl-2 antisense oligonucleotide can induce apoptosis or increase toxicity of the treatment in tumors in vivo and in vitro. However, it is difficult to obtain stable transfection by this approach and there are no reports about the effect of an antisense bcl-2 on the sensitivity to oxidative stress induced by photodynamic therapy (PDT). Here we investigated the effect of an antisense bcl-2 RNA retrovirus vector transfer on the sensitivity of 2-butylamino-2-demethoxy-hypocrellin A (2-BA-2-DMHA) photosensitization in a human gastric adenocarcinoma MGC803 cell line. The results indicate that antisense bcl-2-infected MGC803 cells expressed exogenous antisense bcl-2 mRNA measured by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and significantly reduced bcl-2 protein determined by western blotting analysis. The decreased expression of bcl-2 protein was accompanied by increased phototoxicity and susceptibility to apoptosis induced by 2-BA-2-DMHA PDT. Our finding suggests that reduction of bcl-2 protein in gastric cancers, and possibly also in a variety of other tumors, may be a novel and rational approach to improve photosensitivity and the treatment outcome.