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Oncol Rep. 2011 Jun;25(6):1765-72. doi: 10.3892/or.2011.1249. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

The NQO1*2/*2 polymorphism is associated with poor overall survival in patients following resection of stages II and IIIa non-small cell lung cancer.

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School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin Paul P Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53792-5669, USA.


NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), is a cytosolic flavoenzyme that catalyzes the two-electron reduction of quinones into hydroquinones. A polymorphism (NQO1*2) alters enzymatic activity of NQO1 resulting in diminished NQO1 activity. Malignancies with NQO1*2 may be resistant to radiation and chemotherapy with resulting poorer survival. NQO1 allele was evaluated in subjects enrolled in ECOG 3590, a randomized comparison of radiation (RT) vs radiation and chemotherapy with cisplatin/etoposide (RCT) in patients with completely resected stages II and IIIa NSCLC. Overall survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared via the log-rank test. Cox models were used to assess the impact of covariates on outcomes. Among 152 patients with assessable samples, 24 (16%) had NQO1*2. Median follow-up was 139 months. The presence of NQO1*2/*2 was associated with decreased overall survival (OS) (median in the heterozygote/wild-type group 42.3 vs. 33.5 months in the variant group, p=0.04). In a multivariable Cox model, variant NQO1 (HR = 1.58, p = 0.05), age <60 (HR = 0.67, p = 0.04), PS 1 (HR = 1.47, p = 0.05), cardiovascular disease (HR = 1.93, p = 0.003) and alkaline phosphatase <100 mg/ml (HR = 0.59, p = 0.005) were all significant predictors of OS. NQO1*2/*2 may be an independent predictor of poor overall survival in individuals with resected stages II and IIIa NSCLC. Although the basis for the NQO1 association with decreased survival requires additional evaluation, NQO1 may represent a biomarker for guiding individualized therapy.

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