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Expression of Bax and Bcl-2 in Tumour Cells and Blood Vessels of Breast Cancer and their Association with Angiogenesis and Hormonal Receptors

  • Jaafar, Hasnan ;
  • Abdullah, Suhaila ;
  • Murtey, Mogana Das ;
  • Idris, Fauziah M.
  • Published : 2012.08.31

Abstract

A total of 96 cases of invasive breast ductal carcinoma were examined for immunohistochemical expression of Bax and Bcl-2 in the epithelial tumor cells and endothelial cells of the blood vessels. We also investigated the association between both proteins in the epithelium in relation to tumor characteristics such as tumor size, grade, lymph node involvement, microvessel density (MVD), hormonal receptors expression and c-erbB-2 overexpression. Bax expression showed a significant association between tumor and endothelial cells (p<0.001) while Bcl-2 expression in tumor cells was inversely associated with that in the endothelial cells (p<0.001). Expression of Bcl-2 in tumor cells was strongly associated with expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors (p=0.003 and p=0.004, respectively). In addition, intratumoral MVD was significantly higher than peritumoral MVD (p<0.001) but not associated with Bax or Bcl-2 expression and other tumor characteristics. We concluded that the number of endothelial cells undergoing apoptosis was in direct linkage with the number of apoptotic tumor cells. Anti-apoptotic activity of the surviving tumor cells appears to propagate cancer progression and this was influenced by the hormonal status of the cells. Tumor angiogenesis was especially promoted in the intratumoral region and angiogenesis was independent of anti-apoptotic activity.

Keywords

Apoptosis;angiogenesis;breast cancer cells;blood vessels;hormonal receptors

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