The evaluation of bcl-2 expression as a prognostic marker in early stage laryngeal cancer
Aims and background. To evaluate the effect of bcl-2 expression on the local control and overall survival of patients with early stage laryngeal cancer treated with radiotherapy alone. Methods and study design. We included 53 patients with stage Tis, T1, and T2 laryngeal cancer who were irradiated in our department. Paraffin blocks of all biopsy specimens were subjected to immunohistochemical analysis with a bcl-2 oncoprotein mouse clone 124 Scytek kit. Results. The mean follow-up time was 61 months (range, 7-166). Local-regional recurrence was observed in 10 (19%) patients. Forty-three patients (81%) had negative bcl-2 staining, 5 patients (9%) had + staining, 3 patients (6%) ++ staining, and 2 patients (4%) +++ staining. No relationship was detected between bcl-2 expression and local control or overall survival. The emergence of a recurrence and a younger age (>50 years) were significantly related to poor overall survival (P = 0.000 and P = 0.021, respectively). Patients with hemoglobin levels in the middle of radiotherapy and at the end of radiotherapy higher than 13 g/dl had improved overall survival in multivariate analyses (P = 0.002 and P = 0.001, respectively). Regarding local control, the following were poor prognostic factors: smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day (P = 0.001) and being younger than 50 years of age (P = 0.001). Conclusions. No correlation was observed between bcl-2 expression and local control or overall survival. Whereas hemoglobin level, age and existence of a recurrence had a prognostic impact on overall survival, patient age and smoking status influenced local control rates.