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Bcl-2 and p53 gene products (Bcl-2, p53) are important regulators of apoptosis and cell proliferation, and their immunohistochemical expression may help to identify high-risk breast cancer patients. The authors evaluated p53 and Bcl-2 immunoreactivity in 178 node-negative breast cancers (NNBC) with long-term follow-up (median, 60 months). Bcl-2 was seen in 111 (62%) cases, and was significantly associated with small tumor size, nonductal morphology, low tumor grade, estrogen-receptor (ER) positivity, and p53 negativity. p53 overexpression (ie, > 15% reactive nuclei) was observed in 31 (17%) cases, and was associated with lower age, large tumor size, ductal morphology, high tumor grade, negative ER status, and lack of Bcl-2 immunoreactivity. In univariate analysis, the variables associated with short relapse-free survival (RFS) were large tumor size (P = .002), high histological grade (P = .01), high mitotic count (P = .03), and high Nottingham prognostic index (NPI) (P = .0002). In multivariate analysis (final model), only the NPI was of independent prognostic value concerning RFS.


Journal article


Hum Pathol

Publication Date





1149 - 1155


Analysis of Variance, Breast Neoplasms, Carcinoma, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Lymphatic Metastasis, Middle Aged, Prognosis, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2, Receptors, Estrogen, Survival Analysis, Survival Rate, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53