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Int J Cancer. 2011 Nov 15;129(10):2390-9. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25904. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

Regulatory BCL2 promoter polymorphism (-938C>A) is associated with adverse outcome in patients with prostate carcinoma.

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  • 1Institute of Pharmacogenetics, University Hospital Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45122 Essen, Germany.


Molecular markers predictive of prostate cancer prognosis are urgently needed. Overexpression of the antiapoptotic protein, Bcl-2, has repeatedly been shown to be associated with adverse outcome in this malignancy. We hypothesized that a regulatory BCL2 -938C>A promoter polymorphism, which significantly affects promoter activity and Bcl-2 expression in different malignancies, may influence survival. Reporter assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays reveled that the -938C>A BCL2 promoter polymorphism significantly affects promoter activity and transcription factor binding in prostate cancer cells. Significantly higher BCL2 mRNA expression was observed in primary prostate carcinomas derived from patients with the AA, compared to CC, genotype. Survival analysis showed that the -938AA genotype was an independent, unfavorable prognostic factor for relapse-free survival in a primary cohort of 142 patients and in an independent replication cohort of 148 patients, with hazard ratios (HR) of 4.4 (95% CI, 1.3-15.1; p = 0.018) and 4.6 (95% CI, 1.5-14.2; p = 0.009). Furthermore, the -938AA genotype was independently associated with worse overall survival in the replication series, with a HR of 10.9 (95% CI, 1.2-99.3; p = 0.034). We conclude that the BCL2 -938C>A polymorphism is an independent predictor of relapse-free and overall survival in patients with prostate cancer. The BCL2 -938C>A polymorphism should be evaluated prospectively and may also have promise in assisting optimal patient choice for treatment with BCL2-targeted drugs already in evaluation for prostate cancer treatment.

Copyright © 2011 UICC.

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