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Int J Cancer. 2006 Jul 15;119(2):406-13.

Predicting 5-fluorouracil chemosensitivity of liver metastases from colorectal cancer using primary tumor specimens: three-gene expression model predicts clinical response.

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Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Yokohama City University, Graduate School of Medicine, Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.


We identified genes related to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) sensitivity in colorectal cancer and utilized these genes for predicting the 5-FU sensitivity of liver metastases. Eighty-one candidate genes involved in 5-FU resistance in gastric and colon cancer cell lines were previously identified using a cDNA microarray. In this study, the mRNA expression levels of these 81 selected genes and the genes of 5-FU-related enzymes, including thymidylate synthase (TS), dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) and orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRT), were measured using real-time quantitative RT-PCR assays of surgically resected materials from primary colorectal tumors in 22 patients. Clinical responses were estimated by evaluating the effects of 5-FU-based hepatic artery injection (HAI) chemotherapy for synchronous liver metastases. Four genes (TNFRSF1B, SLC35F5, NAG-1 and OPRT) had significantly different expression profiles in 5-FU-nonresponding and responding tumors (p < 0.05). A "Response Index" system using three genes (TNFRSF1B, SLC35F5 and OPRT) was then developed using a discriminate analysis; the results were well correlated with the individual chemosensitivities. Among the 11 cases with positive scores in our response index, 9 achieved a reduction in their liver metastases after 5-FU-based chemotherapy, whereas only 1 of the 11 cases with negative scores responded well to chemotherapy. Our "Response Index" system, consisting of TNFRSF1B, SLC35F5 and OPRT, has great potential for predicting the efficacy of 5-FU-based chemotherapy against liver metastases from colorectal cancer.

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