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Lung Cancer. 2003 Dec;42(3):275-81.

The clinical relevance of Bcl-2, Rb and p53 expression in advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

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Division of Medical Oncology, Policlinico Monteluce, Via Brunamonti 51, Perugia 06122, Italy.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of Bcl-2, retinoblastoma (Rb) and p53 proteins on overall survival of 102 patients with locally advanced and metastatic NSCLC who underwent cisplatin-based chemotherapy.


Paraffin-embedded bronchial biopsy and fine-needle biopsy specimens were evaluated by an immunostaining method.


Median age of analyzed patients was 61 years. Male/female ratio was 88/14. There were 10 (10%) patients with stage IIIA, 37 (36%) with stage IIIB and 55 (54%) with stage IV NSCLC. Only 15 (15%) tumor specimens had no detectable alterations for analyzed factors. Forty-six samples (45%) had positive immunostaining for p53, 61 (60%) had negative immunostaining for Rb and 8 (8%) had positive immunostaining for Bcl-2. Median and 5-year survival of analyzed population was 12 months and 6%, respectively. In univariate analysis Bcl-2 overexpression, stage (III versus IV) and normal lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) serum levels were associated with better overall survival (P<0.02, 0.001 and 0.03). In multivariate analysis, only stage was identified as an independent predictive factor.


High frequency of Rb and Bcl-2 loss was detected in patients with advanced NSCLC. P53, Rb and Bcl-2 have not been shown to be independent predictors of survival even if Bcl-2 might have a particular relevance in patients with advanced NSCLC and should be better explored in this setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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