Role of P53 and BCL-2 in high-risk breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy

Marcella Mottolese, Maria Benevolo, Girolamo Del Monte, Simonetta Buglioni, Paola Papaldo, Cecilia Nisticò, Franco Di Filippo, Stefania Vasselli, Patrizia Vici, Claudio Botti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Adjuvant therapy has become an integral component of the management of primary high-risk breast cancer patients. However, a considerable fraction of women receive no benefit from this treatment. This study investigates whether a number of biopathological factors can influence the outcome of patients submitted to adjuvant chemotherapy involving the use of high-dose epirubicin and cyclophosphamide. Methods: One hundred and fifty-seven primary breast cancer patients, considered at high risk according to the St. Gallen Meeting Consensus Conference, were evaluated immunohistochemically for estrogen, progesterone receptors, p53, bcl-2, HER-2/neu, and Ki-67, of which the results were correlated with patient outcome. Results: Results obtained demonstrated that p53 is a significant predictor of disease-free survival (DFS P <0.0001) and overall survival (OS P = 0.0002) both in ductal and lobular carcinomas, whereas bcl-2 expression seems to be of prognostic value only in lobular carcinomas (DFS P = 0.01; OS P = 0.02). Conclusions: This data indicates that in high-risk breast cancer patients the immunohistochemical evaluation of p53 and bcl-2 may be of clinical value in distinguishing different responses to adjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-729
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Anthracycline chemoresistance
  • bcl-2
  • Breast carcinoma
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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