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PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23271. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023271. Epub 2011 Aug 18.

Prognostic significance of miR-181b and miR-21 in gastric cancer patients treated with S-1/Oxaliplatin or Doxifluridine/Oxaliplatin.

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  • 1Department of Tumor Biological Treatment, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China.



The goal of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of S-1/Oxaliplatin vs. Doxifluridine/Oxaliplatin regimen and to identify miRNAs as potential prognostic biomarkers in gastric cancer patients. The expression of candidate miRNAs was quantified from fifty-five late stage gastric cancer FFPE specimens.


Gastric cancer patients with KPS>70 were recruited for the trial. The control group was treated with 400 mg/twice/day Doxifluridine plus i.v. with Oxaliplatin at 130 mg/m(2)/first day/4 week cycle. The testing group was treated with S-1 at 40 mg/twice/day/4 week cycle plus i.v. with Oxaliplatin at 130 mg/m(2)/first day/4 week cycle. Total RNAs were extracted from normal and gastric tumor specimens. The levels of miRNAs were quantified using real time qRT-PCR expression analysis.


The overall objective response rate (CR+PR) of patients treated with S-1/Oxaliplatin was 33.3% (CR+PR) vs. 17.6% (CR+PR) with Doxifluridine/Oxaliplatin for advanced stage gastric cancer patients. The average overall survival for patients treated with S-1/Oxaliplatin was 7.80 month vs. 7.30 month with patients treated with Doxifluridine/Oxaliplatin. The expression of miR-181b (P = 0.022) and miR-21 (P = 0.0029) was significantly overexpressed in gastric tumors compared to normal gastric tissues. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that low levels of miR-21 expression (Log rank test, hazard ratio: 0.17, CI = 0.06-0.45; P = 0.0004) and miR-181b (Log rank test, hazard ratio: 0.37, CI = 0.16-0.87; P = 0.018) are closely associated with better patient's overall survival for both S-1 and Doxifluridine based regimens.


Patients treated with S-1/Oxaliplatin had a better response than those treated with Doxifluridine/Oxaliplatin. miR-21 and miR-181b hold great potential as prognostic biomarkers in late stage gastric cancer.

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