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Bcl-2 Gene Expression

Bcl-2 Gene Expression

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

My wife, age 22, was diagnosed with stage IIIA clear cell adenocarcinoma of the cervix. Is it true that if Bcl-2 staining is found in the tumor, then that would make it more resistant to conventional treatments? Are there any approved therapies for such resistant tumors (i.e. targeting Bcl-2)?

Answer

Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

Bcl-2 gene expression is common in many tumor types and has been associated with chemotherapy resistance. At the University of Pennsylvania, we will soon be conducting a clinical trial that attempts to reverse the resistance caused by Bcl-2 gene expression, but no US FDA-approved therapies currently exist.

Standard treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer consists of radiation and radiation-sensitizing chemotherapy. The standard therapy for recurrent or persistent disease is platinum-based combination chemotherapy. In the setting where standard therapies have failed, clinical trials of newer agents may be available in your area.