Increased bcl-2 expression is associated with primary resistance to chemotherapy in human epithelial ovarian cancer

Clin Biochem. 1999 Jul;32(5):333-8. doi: 10.1016/s0009-9120(99)00026-0.


Objective: bcl-2, an anti-apoptotic factor, has a role in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer as well as in resistance to chemotherapy.

Design and methods: 20 benign, and 26 malignant epithelial ovarian tissues were analyzed for bcl-2 protein and mutant p53 by enzyme-immunoassay (EIA). Flowcytometric analysis was also performed. Patients of malignant group were followed up to monitor overall survival and primary resistance to chemotherapy.

Results: bcl-2 was significantly higher in malignant group than benign group (p < 0.001). A cutoff value was determined for bcl-2 (63.8 kU/g protein). At this cutoff, sensitivity is 80.7%, and specificity is 85%. Using chi square analysis, a significant correlation was found between bcl-2 and FIGO stage (p = 0.01), overall survival (p = 0.01), as well as primary resistance to chemotherapy (p = 0.03). By correlation coefficient analysis the relation between bcl-2 and synthetic phase fraction was highly significant (p = 0.002). Bcl-2, p53, and FIGO stage were significantly correlated to poor survival (p = 0.01) in univariate analysis. However, in multivariate analysis, only FIGO stage, and p53 were independent risk factors.

Conclusion: EIA could be a useful tool for investigating the prognostic value of bcl-2, and its possible prediction of platinum resistance in epithelial ovarian cancer. This might help in selecting patients for future anti-bcl-2 therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blotting, Western
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Genes, bcl-2 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Platinum / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis
  • ROC Curve
  • S Phase
  • Survival Rate
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Platinum