Survival in small cell lung carcinoma is independent of bcl-2 expression

Anirban Maitra, Robin H. Amirkhan, M. Hossein Saboorian, William H. Frawley, Raheela Ashfaq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Bcl-2 overexpression is a common event in small cell carcinomas (SCLC). The bcl-2 oncoprotein has a unique oncogenic role by inhibiting programmed cell death (apoptosis), resulting in tumorigenesis and chemoresistance. Forty-two cases of SCLC were stained immunohistochemically with bcl-2 monoclonal antibody (Biogenex, San Ramon, CA) after using an antigen retrieval step with citrate buffer, bcl-2 positivity was determined as detection of the oncoprotein in greater than 10% of noncrushed neoplastic cells. Twenty-five of 42 (60%) patients had extensive disease at presentation, 10 of 42 (24%) had limited disease, and 7 of 42 (16%) had disease localized to the lung. Twenty-four of 42 (57%) tumors were bcl-2 positive, and 18 of 42 (43%) tumors were bcl-2 negative. Follow-up in patients ranged from 7 days to 96 months (mean follow-up, 20 months). The median survival of patients with bcl-2-positive tumors was 11 months, as opposed to 13 months for bcl-2-negative tumors. There was no significant difference in median survival between bcl-2-positive and bcl-2-negative SCLC (log rank test, P = .2256). Using Cox's proportional hazards model, median survival in SCLC was determined to be independent of age at diagnosis, stage at presentation, therapeutic modality, and bcl-2 expression, bcl-2 expression does not significantly influence survival in SCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-717
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bcl-2
  • Lung cancer
  • Small cell
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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