Differential expression of apoptosis associated genes bax and bcl-2 in ovarian cancer

D. Marx, C. Binder, H. Meden, T. Lenthe, T. Ziemek, T. Hiddemann, W. Kuhn, A. Schauer

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72 Scopus citations


The prognostic value of various molecular markers, which adequately account for the tumor biology and disease behaviour of ovarian cancer, is still unclear. Recent studies have focused on the role of genes regulating the balance between proliferation and cellular suicide, apoptosis. In the present study, tumor tissue from 215 patients with ovarian cancer was immunohistochemically analysed for Bax- and Bcl-2-expression. There was an association between Bcl-2-expression (30%) and factors of favourable prognosis. In contrast, Bax-expression (47%) was related to bad clinical outcome, especially in cases without concomitant Bcl-2-expression. In patients with Bcl-2-positive/Bax-negative tumors, overall survival was significantly longer (p = 0.0379) than in patients with Bcl-2- and Bax-negative tumors. Respectively, expression of Bax without Bcl-2-expression was correlated with bad clinical outcome (p = 0.033). The difference in overall survival was most striking (p = 0.0007) between patients with Bax-positive/Bcl-2-negative and Bcl-2-positive/Bax-negative tumors. This could also be demonstrated for the various subgroups of different tumor grade and stage. It may be speculated, that alteration of the Bax/Bcl-2-balance may influence the clinical course by deregulation of programmed cell death and altered sensitivity to chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2233-2240
Number of pages8
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number3 C
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Bax
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prognosis
  • bcl-2


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