Evaluation of multiple bio-pathological factors in colorectal adenocarcinomas: Independent prognostic role of p53 and Bcl-2

S. Buglioni, I. D'Agnano, M. Cosimelli, S. Vasselli, C. D'Angelo, M. Tedesco, G. Zupi, M. Mottolese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


About 40% of patients with colorectal carcinoma will develop local or distant tumour recurrences. Integrated analyses of bio-pathological markers, predictive of tumour aggressiveness, may offer a more rational approach to planning adjuvant therapy. To this end, we analysed the correlation between p53 accumulation, Bcl-2 expression, DNA ploidy, cell proliferation and conventional clinico-pathological parameters by testing the prognostic significance of these variables in a series of 171 colorectal carcinoma patients with long-term follow-up. The relationships among the various biopathological parameters, analysed by multiple correspondence analysis, showed 2 different clinico-biological profiles. The first, characterised by p53 negativity, Bcl-2 positivity, diploidy, low percentage of cells in S- phase (%S-phase), a low Ki-67 score, is associated with Dukes' A-B stage, well differentiated tumours and lack of relapse. The second, defined by p53 positivity, Bcl-2 negativity, aneuploidy, high %S-phase and elevated Ki-67 score, correlates with Dukes' C-D stage, poorly differentiated tumours and presence of relapse. When these parameters were examined according to Kaplan- Meier's method, significantly shorter disease-free (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were also observed in patients bearing p53 positive and Bcl-2 negative tumours, in Dukes' B stage. In multivariate analysis, p53 accumulation and Bcl-2 expression emerged as independent predictors of a worse and better clinical outcome, respectively. Our results indicate that, in colorectal adenocarcinomas, a biological profile, based on the combined evaluation of p53 and Bcl-2, may be useful for identifying high risk patients to be enrolled in an adjuvant setting, mainly in an early stage of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-552
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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