Prognostic value of bcl-2 expression in invasive breast cancer

Br J Cancer. 1995 Aug;72(2):354-60. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1995.338.


Expression of the bcl-2 proto-oncogene was studied immunohistochemically in 251 invasive ductal breast carcinomas (median follow-up time 91 months, range 24-186 months) and the results were correlated with clinicopathological data and prognostic variables. Sixty-three (25%) tumours were scored bcl-2 negative and 188 (75%) tumours were bcl-2 positive. No relationship could be observed between bcl-2 status and tumour grade, pTNM staging or menopausal status. A strong positive relationship was demonstrated between bcl-2 immunoreactivity and oestrogen receptor status (P < 0.001) and progesterone receptor status (P < 0.001). No prognostic value was demonstrated for bcl-2 expression on disease-free survival and overall survival in axillary node-negative breast cancer patients. However, in axillary node-positive breast cancer patients multivariate analysis demonstrated absence of bcl-2 expression to be independently related to shortened disease-free survival (P = 0.003) and shortened overall survival (P < 0.001). Our results suggest a potential important role for bcl-2 expression as a modulator of response to adjuvant therapy in breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / analysis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / immunology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Tissue Distribution


  • MAS1 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2