Prognostic Value of Immunohistochemical Expression of p53, Bax, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL in Resected Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancers

Histopathology. 2004 Jan;44(1):54-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2004.01750.x.


Aims: Some experimental evidence suggests that in lung cancer, development, progression and an increased proliferation rate can be linked to apoptosis-related factors. In this study we evaluated the possible role of p53 and Bcl-2 gene family members as prognostic factors for non-small-cell lung cancer.

Methods and results: We investigated the immunohistochemical expression of p53 and Bcl-2 gene family members (bax, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL) in 94 non-small-cell lung cancer specimens to establish the role of these genes in lung cancer pathogenesis, and to evaluate their prognostic importance. The expression of Bcl-2 was correlated with a shorter patient survival time and with the nodal status of the neoplasm. We also found frequent over-expression of bax and Bcl-xL to be of no prognostic significance. Finally, we found no correlation between frequent detection of aberrant p53 protein and expression of either Bcl-2, bax or Bcl-xL or with patient survival time.

Conclusions: This study confirms a relevant role for apoptosis-regulatory proteins in the pathogenesis of lung cancer, and highlights the possible role of Bcl-2 as a prognostic factor for this tumour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / secondary*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism*
  • Survival Rate
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • bcl-X Protein


  • BAX protein, human
  • BCL2L1 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • bcl-X Protein