Expression of Bcl-2 and p53 protein in resectable invasive ductal carcinoma of the pancreas: effects on clinical outcome and efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy

J Surg Oncol. 2001 Mar;76(3):188-96. doi: 10.1002/jso.1033.


Background and objectives: p53 tumor suppressor gene has a dual role as a trigger of apoptosis and as an initiator of DNA repair. The Bcl-2 can work to protect cells from apoptosis, which is induced by p53 gene. These facts suggest the significant role of these genes in the genesis and progression of various tumors. The present study was designed to assess the significance of p53 and Bcl-2 protein (pBcl-2) expression on resectable invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) of the pancreas.

Methods: The present study included 63 IDCs, which were resected between 1982 and 1998. pBcl-2 and p53 were stained immunohistochemically with monoclonal antibodies.

Results: pBcl-2 was expressed in 16 (25.4%), and p53 was positively expressed in 32 out of 63 IDCs (50.8%); however, expression of pBcl-2 did not necessarily correlate with that of p53. Although p53 expression did not show any significant influence on the patients' survival, pBcl-2(+) patients showed a higher survival than pBcl-2(-) patients for both p53(+) and p53(-) patients, which suggested that pBcl-2 expression had a more significant effect on the survival of patients than p53 expression. On the other hand, there were no differences in the survival curve between the adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) group and the surgery alone (SA) group. pBcl-2 expression had no influence on the effect of ACT, the ACT group showed a significantly better survival than the SA group for p53(+) IDC patients.

Conclusions: pBcl-2 expression is a beneficial prognostic factor for patients with IDC, whereas p53 expression may be beneficial in the prediction of the effects of adjuvant chemotherapy on patients with IDC. J. Surg. Oncol. 2001;76:188-196.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / surgery
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53