Response to interferon therapy in patients with multiple myeloma correlates with expression of the Bcl-2 oncoprotein

Int J Cancer. 1995 Oct 9;63(2):190-2. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910630207.


The expression of the Bcl-2 oncoprotein was studied in pre-treatment bone-marrow samples from 63 patients with multiple myeloma, using an immunohistochemistry technique. A variable expression of the Bcl-2 protein was found in myeloma cells. 43% of the patients had strong expression of the Bcl-2 protein in the malignant cells. Forty patients received alpha-interferon, whereas 23 patients received melphalan/prednisone therapy. A significant association (p = 0.012) was found between high levels of Bcl-2 expression in myeloma cells and resistance to interferon therapy. No such correlation was found in the melphalan/prednisone treated patients. The data indicate that over-expression of Bcl-2 may be a cause for resistance to interferon therapy in myeloma and that staining for Bcl-2 expression in myeloma cells may have a predictive value for this treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Melphalan / administration & dosage*
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Melphalan
  • Prednisone