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Future Oncol. 2010 Nov;6(11):1735-49. doi: 10.2217/fon.10.140.

ERCC1: impact in multimodality treatment of upper gastrointestinal cancer.

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Department of General, Visceral & Cancer Surgery, University of Cologne, Germany.


Platinum-based drugs and radiation are key elements of multimodality treatment in a wide variety of solid tumors and especially tumors of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Cytotoxicity is directly related to their ability to cause DNA damage. This event consecutively triggers the nucleotide excision repair (NER) complex. The NER capacity has a major impact on chemo and radiation sensitivity, emergence of resistance and patient outcome. Excision repair cross-complementing group 1 (ERCC1) is a key molecule in NER. This review provides an overview of the NER complex with a focus on ERCC1. Recent literature has been analyzed and provides information regarding the potential role of ERCC1 as a prognostic factor in multimodality treatment of upper gastrointestinal cancer and cancer risk. To date, the role of ERCC1 as a predictive marker for individual multimodality treatment is far from being firmly established for routine use. However, with reliable methods, established cut-off values and validation in large, prospective, randomized trials, ERCC1 may possibly prove to play an important role as a tumor marker in individualized treatment for upper gastrointestinal cancer.

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