International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 518–525 | Cite as

Prognostic significance of Bcl-2 and p53 expression in gastric cancer

  • Hyeon Kook Lee
  • Hye Seung Lee
  • Han-Kwang Yang
  • Woo Ho Kim
  • Kuhn Uk Lee
  • Kuk Jin Choe
  • Jin-Pok Kim
Original Article


Background and aims

Apoptosis regulates cell death and influences cell proliferation and therefore may play an important role in development or growth of various malignant tumors. The Bcl-2 and p53 are closely linked in the regulation of apoptosis. We investigated the prognostic significance of Bcl-2 and p53 expression in patients with gastric cancer.

Patients and methods

Immunohistochemistry was used to study Bcl-2 and p53 expression in 308 consecutive patients with gastric cancer.


Bcl-2 expression was positive in 39 patients (12.7%) and showed a significant negative correlation with depth of invasion and lymph node metastasis. p53 expression was observed in 105 patients (34.1%) and was significantly associated with depth of invasion, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, and intestinal type. Patients with Bcl-2+ tumors showed a trend to better 5-year survival rate (81%) than those with Bcl-2 negative tumors (71%). The 5-year survival rate in p53 positive cases (60%) was significantly lower than that in p53-negative cases (78%). In addition, p53 expression showed a significantly poorer prognosis in both diffuse and intestinal types. In multivariate analysis restricted to patients with R0 resection p53 expression was an independent prognostic factor (relative risk: 2.063). In combined assessment of p53 and Bcl-2 expression the group with p53+/Bcl-2 tumors showed significantly worse 5-year survival (57%) than the other groups, while best survival was seen in the group with p53+/Bcl-2+ tumors (100%).


p53 expression is an unfavorable prognostic factor in gastric cancer. Bcl-2 expression may have possible prognostic value when combined with p53 expression.


Bcl-2 p53 Gastric cancer 



This study was supported by the Korean Foundation for Cancer Research Grant No. 20-12-4.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyeon Kook Lee
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hye Seung Lee
    • 1
    • 4
  • Han-Kwang Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Woo Ho Kim
    • 1
    • 4
  • Kuhn Uk Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kuk Jin Choe
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jin-Pok Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Research InstituteSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of SurgerySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of Surgery, College of MedicineEwha Womans UniversitySeoulKorea
  4. 4.Department of PathologySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulKorea

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