Objective: To investigate the correlation between the expression of apoptosis-related markers and prognosis in malignant epithelial tumors of the lacrimal gland.
Materials and methods: Series of cases.
Participants: 21 cases with malignant epithelial tumors of the lacrimal gland. Histological diagnosis was reexamined and blocks selected were evaluated for the following parameters: incidence of apoptosis with TUNEL assay , expression of p53 and bcl-2 using monoclonal antibody. Predictors factors for survival, local recurrence and cumulative probability of death were statistically evaluated.
Results: Reaximination of the 21 specimens was as follow: 11 adenoid cystic carcinomas, 4 mucoepidermoid carcinomas, 3 squamous cell carcinomas and 3 adenocarcinomas. Eleven of the 21 patients (53%) died during the follow-up period (4 - 192 months; mean 71.). Bcl-2 staining >10% was significantly correlated with the death of the patients. Statistically significant positive relationship for TUNEL and p53, while an inverse correlation for Bcl-2 staining was demonstrated with overall survival .
Conclusion: The correlation with survival of apoptotic index, p53 and Bcl-2 expression suggest the more tumor cells go in apoptosis, upregulating p53 and down-regulating Bcl-2, the better is the survival of the patients. This study establishes a role of apoptosis-regulatory proteins in the pathogenesis of malignant epithelial lacrimal gland tumors and make plausible the hypothesis that the evaluation of the expression of apoptosis-related markers in these tumors may provide a prognostic tool.
- adenoid cystic carcinoma
- lacrimal gland carcinoma
- malignant tumor
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