Immunohistochemical analysis of Ki-67 antigen and Bcl-2 protein expression in prostate cancer: effect of neoadjuvant hormonal therapy

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To determine differences in the immunohistochemical (IHC) expression of Bcl-2 protein and Ki-67 antigen in patients with prostatic cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy with or without neoadjuvant hormonal therapy.

Materials and methods

Ki-67 antigen and Bcl-2 protein were detected by IHC-using MIB-1 and Bcl-2 antibodies in prostatectomy specimens from 28 patients who received hormonal therapy before surgery (group 1) and 51 patients who did not (group 2).


In group 2, the mean MIB-1 index increased with increasing grade of tumour, from 11.6% in low-grade to 24.7% in high-grade tumours(P=0.002). Bcl-2 expression did not correlate with either tumour grade or stage. In group 1, there were no correlations between Bcl-2 expression or MIB-1 index and tumour grade or stage. More tumours in group 1 were Bcl-2-positive (16 of 28, 57%) than were tumours in group 2 (11 of 51, 22%; P=0.003). The mean (SD) MIB-1 index of tumours in group 2 [15.6 (14.4)%], was significantly greater than that of tumours in group 2[6.8 (7.5)%; P=0.004].


These results indicate that Bcl-2 positivity is increased by androgen ablation therapy and conversely, that the proliferative activity of cancer cells is significantly reduced. The expression of Bcl-2 protein may play a role in the ability of prostate cancer cells to survive in an androgen-deprived environment.

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