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Potential role of bcl-2 as a suppressor of tumour angiogenesis in non- small-cell lung cancer

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Publication Date
  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
  • Protein Bcl 2
  • Protein P53
  • Tyrosine Kinase Receptor
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiogenesis
  • Apoptosis
  • Article
  • Cancer Grading
  • Cancer Growth
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Human
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Cancer
  • Lung Non Small Cell Cancer
  • Major Clinical Study
  • Male
  • Priority Journal
  • Analysis Of Variance
  • Carcinoma
  • Non-Small-Cell Lung
  • Genes
  • Bcl-2
  • P53
  • Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization
  • Pathologic
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins C-Bcl-2
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein P53
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


It has been reported that genes regulating apoptosis may play a role in tumoral angiogenesis. This study examined the relationship between tumour vascularization, a measure of tumour angiogenesis, and bcl-2 and p53 expression in operable non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The relationship between bcl-2, p53 and tumour vascularization and epidermal-growth-factor- receptor(EGFR) and c-erbB-2 expression was also studied. Tissue sections from resected tumour specimens of 107 NSCLC patients were evaluated immunohistochemically for vascular grade and bcl-2, p53, EGFR and c-erbB-2 expression. bcl-2 expression was found in 20/107 (19%) cases and was associated with squamous-cell histology (p = 0.03). A strong inverse relationship was found between bcl-2 expression and vascular grade (p = 0.005). All c-erbB-2-positive cases were negative for bcl-2 expression (p = 0.01). Overall no association was found between c-erbB-2 expression and vascular grade. However, in bcl-2-negative cases positive c-erbB-2 expression correlated with low angiogenesis (p = 0.05). No relationship was found between p53 and EGFR expression and bcl-2, c-erbB-2 or vascular grade. The improved prognosis reported in bcl-2-positive NSCLC may be related to low tumour vascularization. The results suggest that the anti-apoptotic gene bcl- 2 plays a role in regulating tumour angiogenesis. Since normal lung epithelium expresses bcl-2, a sequence of tumour progression involving loss of bcl-2, then activation of c-erbB-2 or increase in tumour vascularization is proposed.

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