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J Clin Oncol. 2001 Dec 1;19(23):4298-304.

ERCC1 and thymidylate synthase mRNA levels predict survival for colorectal cancer patients receiving combination oxaliplatin and fluorouracil chemotherapy.

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  • 1University of Southern California/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Response Genetics Inc, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To test the hypotheses of whether the relative mRNA expression of the thymidylate synthase (TS) gene and the excision cross-complementing (ERCC1) gene are associated with response to and survival of fluorouracil (5-FU)/oxaliplatin chemotherapy in metastatic colorectal cancer.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Patients had progressive stage IV disease after unsuccessful 5-FU and irinotecan chemotherapy. All patients were evaluated for eligibility for a compassionate 5-FU/oxaliplatin protocol. cDNA was derived from paraffin-embedded tumor specimens to determine TS and ERCC1 mRNA expression relative to the internal reference gene beta-actin using fluorescence-based, real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.

RESULTS:

The median TS gene expression level from 50 metastasized tumors was 3.4 x 10(-3) (minimum expression, 0.18 x 10(-3);maximum expression, 11.5 x 10(-3)), and the median ERCC1 gene expression level was 2.53 x 10(-3) (minimum, 0.0; maximum, 14.61 x 10(-3)). The gene expression cutoff values for chemotherapy nonresponse were 7.5 x 10(-3) for TS and 4.9 x 10(-3) for ERCC1. The median survival time for patients with TS <or= 7.5 x 10(-3) (43 of 50 patients) was 10.2 months, compared with 1.5 months for patients with TS greater than 7.5 x 10(-3) (P < .001). Patients with ERCC1 expression <or= 4.9 x 10(-3) (40 of 50 patients) had a median survival time of 10.2 months, compared with 1.9 months for patients with ERCC1 expression greater than 4.9 x 10(-3) (P < .001). A TS of 7.5 x 10(-3) segregated significantly into response, stable disease, and progression (P = .02), whereas the association between ERCC1 and response did not reach statistical significance (P = .29).

CONCLUSION:

These data suggest that intratumoral ERCC1 mRNA and TS mRNA expression levels are independent predictive markers of survival for 5-FU and oxaliplatin combination chemotherapy in 5-FU-resistant metastatic colorectal cancer. Precise definition of the best TS cut point will require further analysis in a large, prospective study.

PMID:
11731512
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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