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Int J Clin Oncol. 2013 Oct;18(5):869-76. doi: 10.1007/s10147-012-0470-0. Epub 2012 Aug 31.

Survivin expression can predict the effect of chemoradiotherapy for advanced lower rectal cancer.

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Department of Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima, 3-18-15 Kuramoto, Tokushima, 770-8503, Japan,



Chemoradiotherapy (CRT) has been used to improve local control and survival in patients with advanced rectal carcinoma. However, a significant proportion of patients show poor response to adjuvant CRT. We thus investigated the usefulness of survivin expression as a predictive marker of the CRT response and its characteristics.


Forty-three patients with lower rectal cancer who underwent CRT were investigated. All patients received preoperative CRT consisting of TS-1 concurrent with 40 Gy of pelvic irradiation followed by curative resection. The relationship between clinical response, or pathological response, and the expression of survivin of pre-CRT biopsy specimens was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and compared with post-CRT expression.


Positive expression of survivin was observed in 26 of 43 patients (60%) in pre-CRT specimens. Survivin was positively expressed in 77% of stable disease cases, and 43% of partial response (p < 0.05). Regarding the correlation between pathological response and survivin expression, positive expression of survivin was recognized in 75% (18 of 24) of Grade 0 + 1 cases, 50% (7 of 14) of Grade 2 cases, and 20% (1 of 5) of Grade 3 cases. A reverse correlation was recognized between pathological responses and survivin expression (p < 0.05). There were differences in the tumor differentiation between the survivin-positive group and the negative group (p < 0.05). The expression concordance rate was 66% between pre- and post-CRT tissues. In post-CRT tissues, nuclear survivin expression disappeared completely and cytoplasmic expression increased, especially in responder cases.


Survivin expression in biopsy could be an important predictive factor of preoperative CRT response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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