Bcl-2 and p53 expression in node-negative breast carcinoma: a study with long-term follow-up

Hum Pathol. 1996 Nov;27(11):1149-55. doi: 10.1016/s0046-8177(96)90307-x.


Bcl-2 and p53 gene products (Bcl-2, p53) are important regulators of apoptosis and cell proliferation, and their immunohistochemical expression may help to identify high-risk breast cancer patients. The authors evaluated p53 and Bcl-2 immunoreactivity in 178 node-negative breast cancers (NNBC) with long-term follow-up (median, 60 months). Bcl-2 was seen in 111 (62%) cases, and was significantly associated with small tumor size, nonductal morphology, low tumor grade, estrogen-receptor (ER) positivity, and p53 negativity. p53 overexpression (ie, > 15% reactive nuclei) was observed in 31 (17%) cases, and was associated with lower age, large tumor size, ductal morphology, high tumor grade, negative ER status, and lack of Bcl-2 immunoreactivity. In univariate analysis, the variables associated with short relapse-free survival (RFS) were large tumor size (P = .002), high histological grade (P = .01), high mitotic count (P = .03), and high Nottingham prognostic index (NPI) (P = .0002). In multivariate analysis (final model), only the NPI was of independent prognostic value concerning RFS.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Carcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Carcinoma / mortality
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis
  • Receptors, Estrogen / immunology
  • Survival Analysis
  • Survival Rate
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / biosynthesis*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53