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Cancer. 1996 Aug 1;78(3):416-21.

Immunohistochemical expression of glutathione S-transferase-Pi can predict chemotherapy response in patients with nonsmall cell lung carcinoma.

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Research Instutute for Diseases of the Chest, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.



Resistance to chemotherapy agents is a major problem in the treatment of patients with nonsmall cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Recent studies have indicated that glutathione S-transferase-Pi (GST-Pi) may play an important role in the resistance of cancer cells to alkylating agents, including cisplatin compounds.


The expression of GST-Pi in tissues obtained by bronchoscopic biopsy from 38 NSCLC patients was investigated immunohistochemically. These patients were treated with a combination of cisplatin-based chemotherapy and were evaluated to determine the relationship between GST-Pi expression and chemotherapy response.


Of the 38 patients, 25 (66%) were GST-Pi-positive and 13 (34%) were negative. There was no significant correlation between GST-Pi expression and the clinicopathologic factors examined (age, sex, performance status, histology, differentiation grade, and stage). Of the 38 patients treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy, 12 patients responded to chemotherapy (overall response rate, 32%). For the patients with negative GST-Pi expression, the response rate was 69% (9 of 13 patients). In the patients with positive GST-Pi expression, the response rate was 12% (3 of 25 patients). This difference was statistically significant (P=0.0012).


The expression of GST-Pi in NSCLC patients was significantly related to response to cisplatin-based chemotherapy, and may be a useful predictor of chemotherapy response.

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