Presence of the bcl-2 protein and apoptosis in non-Hodgkin lymphomas with diffuse growth pattern

L. Leoncini, M. T. Del Vecchio, D. Spina, T. Megha, P. Barbini, E. Sabattini, S. Pileri, P. Tosi, R. Kraft, J. A. Laissue, H. Cottier

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In an attempt to further clarify the role of the apoptosis-counteracting protein bcl-2, non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL, n = 170) were examined immunohistochemically, across the boundaries of histologic classification, for the presence of this oncoprotein, in comparison with apoptotic indices (A1) and percentages of Ki-67+ cells (growth fraction). The results of this retrospective study revealed a highly significant inverse relationship ('mirror image') between the proportion of bcl-2+ cells and the A1 per case. Both these parameters, although variable, clearly distinguished low- from high-grade-malignancy lymphomas according to the Kiel classification. Cluster analysis detected 2 separate groups of high-grade NHL, one with rather high A1 and low percentages of bcl-2+ cells, comprising most anaplastic large-cell lymphomas, the other group with reverse characteristics. We found no correlation between the percentage of bcl-2+ cells per case and overall survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)826-831
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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