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Anticancer Res. 1995 Mar-Apr;15(2):639-44.

Assessment of apoptosis in oesophageal carcinoma preoperatively treated by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

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First Department of Surgery, Okayama University Medical School, Japan.


Apoptosis, programmed cell death, was immunohistochemically determined in 55 samples of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma using the BM1 Mab. Sections from patients not treated (group 1, n = 12) or preoperatively treated by chemotherapy (group 2, n = 11), radiation (group 3, n = 13) or both (group 4, n = 8), and 11 additional cases of high-grade dysplasia or early cancer were examined. Most of the apoptotic cells were BM1-positive and checked by TUNEL proved to be nick end positive. They accounted for 7 (11%), 19 (29%), 21 (32%) and 26 (38%) cells per field in those 4 groups respectively. Chemotherapy and/or radiation significantly increased the number of apoptotic cells as compared to controls (p = 0.029 and p = 0.029, respectively). To assess the implications of the oncogene expression in the apoptotic pathway, additional section stained with bcl2 and p53 were negative for bcl2 and were positive for p53 in 16 samples (37%). Overall, positive cases for p53 mutation showed a significantly decreased incidence of apoptotic cells (p = 0.03). These results suggest that in situ assessment of apoptotic response better correlates to the apoptosis induced by radiation than that by chemotherapy, that abnormalities of the p53 protein decrease the apoptotic response in oesophageal carcinoma, and that immunohistochemical analysis of p53 protein helps to determine the sensitivity to these anticancer agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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