DNA polymerase eta protein expression predicts treatment response and survival of metastatic gastric adenocarcinoma patients treated with oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: DNA polymerase eta (pol eta) is capable of bypassing DNA adducts produced by cisplatin or oxaliplatin and is associated with cellular tolerance to platinum. Previous studies showed that defective pol eta resulted in enhanced cisplatin or oxaliplatin sensitivity in some cell lines. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of pol eta protein expression in metastatic gastric adenocarcinoma. METHODS: Four gastric adenocarcinoma cell lines were chosen to explore the relationship between pol eta protein expression and oxaliplatin sensitivity by western blotting and MTT assay. Eighty metastatic gastric adenocarcinoma patients treated with FOLFOX or XELOX regimen as first-line chemotherapy were analyzed, corresponding pretreatment formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissues were used to detect pol eta protein expression by immunohistochemistry. Relationship between pol eta protein expression and clinical features and outcome of these patients was analyzed. RESULTS: A positive linear relationship between pol eta protein expression and 48 h IC50 values of oxaliplatin in four gastric cancer cell lines was observed. Positivity of pol eta protein expression was strongly associated with poor treatment response, as well as shorter survival at both univariate (8 versus 14 months; P < 0.001) and multivariate (hazard ratio, 4.555; 95% confidence interval, 2.461-8.429; P < 0.001) analysis in eighty metastatic gastric adenocarcinoma patients. CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that pol eta is a predictive factor of treatment response and survival of metastatic gastric adenocarcinoma patients treated with FOLFOX or XELOX as first-line chemotherapy. Therefore confirming the value of pol eta in studies with prospective design is mandatory.

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