Prognostic influence of BCl2 on molecular subtypes of breast cancer

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Purpose: We aimed to reveal the prognostic influence of B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2 (BCL2) on molecular subtypes of breast cancer. Methods: We analyzed 9,468 patients with primary breast cancer. We classified molecular subtypes according to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and St. Gallen guidelines, mainly on the basis of the expression of hormonal receptor (HR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), and Ki-67. Results: Regarding NCCN classification, BCL2 was a strong favorable prognostic factor in the HR(+)/HER2(–) subtype (p< 0.001) and a marginally significant favorable prognosticator in the HR(+)/HER2(+) subtype (p= 0.046). BCL2 had no prognostic impact on HR(–)/HER2(+) and HR(–)/HER2(–) subtypes. In relation to St. Gallen classification, BCL2 was a strong favorable prognosticator in luminal A and luminal B/HER2(–) subtypes (both p< 0.001). BCL2 was a marginally significant prognosticator in the luminal B/HER2(+) subtype (p= 0.046), and it was not a significant prognosticator in HER2 or triple negative (TN) sub- types. The prognostic effect of BCL2 was proportional to the stage of breast cancer in HR(+)/HER2(–), HR(+)/HER2(+), and HR(–)/HER2(–) subtypes, but not in HR(–)/HER2(+) subtype. BCL2 was not a prognostic factor in TN breast cancer regardless of epidermal growth factor receptor expression. Conclusion: The prognostic influence of BCL2 was different across molecular subtypes of breast cancer, and it was largely dependent on HR, HER2, Ki-67, and the stage of cancer. BCL2 had a strong favorable prognostic impact only in HR(+)/HER2(–) or luminal A and luminal B/HER2(–) subtypes, particularly in advanced stages. Further investigations are needed to verify the prognostic influence of BCL2 on molecular subtypes of breast cancer and to develop clinical applications for prognostication using BCL2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-64
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Breast Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • Bcl-2
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Prognosis
  • Survival analysis
  • Triple negative breast neoplasms

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