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Urol Res. 1996;24(5):257-64.

Bcl-2 immunoreactivity in prostate tumorigenesis in relation to prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, grade, hormonal status, metastatic growth and survival.

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Department of Urology and Andrology, UmeƄ University, Sweden.


The Bcl-2 protein prolongs cell survival by overriding apoptosis. To explore the role of Bcl-2 in prostate tumorigenesis, immunoreactivity for Bcl-2 was examined in untreated and androgen-deprived tumours and lymph node metastasis. Following the transurethral resection, 150 untreated patients were maintained under surveillance until death or for a minimum of 11 years, and castration was performed at symptomatic progression. The Bcl-2 index (BI) was defined as the percentage of immunoreactive cells in a tumour. The mean BI was 12 in the untreated tumours, and BI was significantly higher in high-grade tumours, mean BI 17, than in low-grade tumours, mean BI 6. There was no correlation between BI and stage or metastatic disease, nor did BI predict cancer-specific survival. In 16 androgen-deprived, but non-relapsed tumours, the mean BI was 54, at a mean time of 22 months after castration, indicating a permanent increase of Bcl-2 protein expression after androgen withdrawal. In six patients, tissues from the prostate tumour and obturator lymph node metastasis were available. Four primary tumours immunostained for Bcl-2, but only one metastasis stained. Foci of highgrade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) were present in 44 of the 150 untreated tumours. All PIN foci were intensely immunoreactive for Bcl-2, and mean BI was 79, suggesting that Bcl-2 protein expression is associated with early prostate tumorigenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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