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J Hematol Oncol. 2010 Mar 13;3:10. doi: 10.1186/1756-8722-3-10.

RRM1 single nucleotide polymorphism -37C-->A correlates with progression-free survival in NSCLC patients after gemcitabine-based chemotherapy.

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Guangdong Lung Cancer Institute, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, China.



The ribonucleotide reductase M1 (RRM1) gene encodes the regulatory subunit of ribonucleotide reductase, the molecular target of gemcitabine. The overexpression of RRM1 mRNA in tumor tissues is reported to be associated with gemcitabine resistance. Thus, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the RRM1 gene are potential biomarkers of the response to gemcitabine chemotherapy. We investigated whether RRM1 expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) or SNPs were associated with clinical outcome after gemcitabine-based chemotherapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.


PBMC samples were obtained from 62 stage IIIB and IV patients treated with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy. RRM1 mRNA expression levels were assessed by real-time PCR. Three RRM1 SNPs, -37C-->A, 2455A-->G and 2464G-->A, were assessed by direct sequencing.


RRM1 expression was detectable in 57 PBMC samples, and SNPs were sequenced in 56 samples. The overall response rate to gemcitabine was 18%; there was no significant association between RRM1 mRNA expression and response rate (P = 0.560). The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 23.3 weeks in the lower expression group and 26.9 weeks in the higher expression group (P = 0.659). For the -37C-->A polymorphism, the median PFS was 30.7 weeks in the C(-)37A group, 24.7 weeks in the A(-)37A group, and 23.3 weeks in the C(-)37C group (P = 0.043). No significant difference in PFS was observed for the SNP 2455A-->G or 2464G-->A.


The RRM1 polymorphism -37C-->A correlated with PFS in NSCLC patients treated with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy. No significant correlation was found between PBMC RRM1 mRNA expression and the efficacy of gemcitabine.

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