The bcl-2 protein inhibits apoptosis (programmed cell death) of hematopoietic stem cells induced by a variety of noxious stimuli, thus mediate chemoresistance and decrease chemosensitivity. Higher bcl-2 expression was demonstrated to correlate with an adverse outcome in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The current study attempted to determine whether BCL2 gene single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) could affect treatment outcomes of 109 AML patients. Two genotypes were tested including BCL2 −938 C>A (rs2279115) and +21 A>G (rs1801018) using Light cycler-assisted analyses. Neither −938 C>A nor +21 A>G BLC2 genotype was not associated with the difference of the probability to achieve complete remission (CR) after chemotherapy. While −938 A>C BCL2 genotype did not affect leukemia free survival (LFS), event free survival (EFS) or overall survival (OS), of interest, BCL2 +21 A>G genotype correlated with LFS and EFS significantly. The group with +21 AA genotype had a significantly longer median LFS (p<0.001) or EFS (p=0.014), and marginally better OS (p=0.08). The multivariate analyses confirmed that BCL2 gene SNP is independent prognostic factor for LFS (p=0.05, HR 2.57, 95% C.I. [1.02–6.62]) and EFS (p=0.02, HR 2.38, 95% C.I. [1.11–5.13]), but not for OS (p=0.3) considering previously known risk factors. These data indicate that chemotherapy resistance may involve the bcl-2 mediated mechanism in AML.

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