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Markers of apoptosis in stage IB squamous cervical carcinoma


Aims: To examine the prognostic relevance of the expression of the Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Bax proteins in stage IB squamous cervical carcinoma (SCC).

Methods: In total, 220 patients who underwent radical hysterectomy and bilateral lymphadenectomy at the Norwegian Radium Hospital for stage IB SCC between 1987 and 1993 were studied. Immunohistochemistry using monoclonal antibodies against Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Bax was used to examine protein expression. Ten patients who underwent hysterectomy for uterine prolapse served as controls.

Results: Cytoplasmic expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Bax was low (< 5% positive cells) in 159 of 220 (73%), 193 of 220 (87%), and 39 of 220 (18%) tumours, respectively, and high (⩾ 5% positive cells) in 61 of 220 (27%), 27 of 220 (13%), and 181 of 220 (82%) tumours, respectively. In univariate analysis, all classic clinicopathological parameters but none of the investigated proteins were associated with prognosis. In multivariate analysis, only deep stromal invasion was independently related to survival.

Conclusion: Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Bax were not independently associated with prognosis in stage IB SCC.

  • SCC, squamous cervical carcinoma
  • Bcl-2
  • Bcl-xL
  • and Bax
  • immunohistochemistry
  • prognosis
  • cervical neoplasms
  • retrospective studies
  • biological markers

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