Analysis of Bcl-2 Protein Expression in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. A Comparison of Three Semiquantitation Techniques

Am J Clin Pathol. 2000 Feb;113(2):219-29. doi: 10.1309/491W-L1TN-UFQX-T61B.


A number of studies revealed that high expression of the proto-oncogene bcl-2 correlated with poor prognosis or resistance to chemotherapy in some tumors but predicted a favorable clinical course in other neoplasias. In these studies, however, different immunologic techniques for Bcl-2 detection were used, raising the question of whether the methods applied were comparable. Using chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells, the aims of our study were as follows: (1) to determine the reproducibility of Bcl-2 semiquantitation by immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, or immunoblotting; (2) to study the agreement between results obtained by these methods; and (3) to examine the association between Bcl-2 expression in tumor cells of 99 patients with CLL and clinical parameters. We found that determination of Bcl-2 expression by immunocytochemistry was reproducible and the results were comparable with those of flow cytometry and immunoblotting. In the patient collective examined, Bcl-2 expression did not reflect the extent of tumor mass, but higher levels were found more often in patients with progressive disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / metabolism*
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / analysis*
  • Quality Control
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2