MBR rearrangement and P-glycoprotein expression are not independent prognostic factors like p53 protein in malignant lymphoma

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Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) are B-cell malignancies which generally present molecular abnormalities, such as bcl-2 translocation t(14; 18) predominantly in the follicular subgroup. Other molecular events have been described in NHL, including p53 gene mutation and overexpression of one chemoresistance mechanism, the multidrug resistance system, P-glycoprotein (MDR1/P-gp). In this study, we analysed samples from 44 NHL patients with the presence of the bcl-2 major breakpoint region (MBR) rearrangement in 29 and without in 15. Immunochemical analysis revealed that 39 samples were positive for bcl-2 protein expression in tumoral cells (88.6%). Seventeen (38.6%) patients expressed P-gp and 9 (20.5%) expressed p53 proteins. Eleven patients expressed both bcl-2 and P-gp proteins, four expressed bcl-2 and p53 proteins whereas four expressed bcl-2, p53 and P-gp proteins. Our results confirm the importance of p53 expression as a key prognostic factor, and no objective response (OR) was found in patients with p53 positivity. MBR rearrangement was not associated with poor response to chemotherapy (62.1% OR in MBR positive patients v. 60% OR in MBR negative patients). The clinical impact of P-gp cannot be identified because no relationship was observed between P-gp expression and prognosis (58.8% OR in P-gp positive patients v. 63% OR in P-gp negative patients).

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