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Am J Clin Pathol. 2000 Feb;113(2):219-29.

Analysis of Bcl-2 protein expression in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. A comparison of three semiquantitation techniques.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Innsbruck, Austria.


A number of studies revealed that high expression of the proto-oncogene bcl-2 correlated with poor prognosis or resistance to chemotherapy in some tumors but predicted a favorable clinical course in other neoplasias. In these studies, however, different immunologic techniques for Bcl-2 detection were used, raising the question of whether the methods applied were comparable. Using chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells, the aims of our study were as follows: (1) to determine the reproducibility of Bcl-2 semiquantitation by immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, or immunoblotting; (2) to study the agreement between results obtained by these methods; and (3) to examine the association between Bcl-2 expression in tumor cells of 99 patients with CLL and clinical parameters. We found that determination of Bcl-2 expression by immunocytochemistry was reproducible and the results were comparable with those of flow cytometry and immunoblotting. In the patient collective examined, Bcl-2 expression did not reflect the extent of tumor mass, but higher levels were found more often in patients with progressive disease.

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