Expression of a molecular marker panel as a prognostic tool in gastric cancer patients treated postoperatively with docetaxel and irinotecan. A study of the Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group.
ABSTRACT This study evaluated the prognostic role of vascular epidermal growth factor (VEGF), thymidylate synthase (TS), topoisomerase I (Topo-I), topoisomerase IIalpha (Topo-IIalpha) and E-cadherin (E-cadh) tumor expression, in patients with resectable gastric cancer, who were treated postoperatively with the docetaxel/irinotecan combination.
Forty-five patients with resectable gastric cancer were treated with 6 cycles of docetaxel 30 mg/m2 and irinotecan 110 m/m2 on day 1 and d8 every 21 days. All specimens were examined by using immunohistochemistry (IHC) for the expression of VEGF, TS, Topo-I, Topo-IIalpha and E-cadh.
Positivity for TS was significantly correlated with age and for VEGF with diffuse histological type and good PS. No significant correlation was observed among Topo-I, Topo-IIalpha and E-cadh positivity with any of the clinicopathological parameters studied. Median overall survival (OS) was 31.7, and disease-free survival (DFS) 26 months, respectively. None of the above-investigated molecular markers were significantly associated with OS and DFS. Finally, according to the univariate analysis for survival, only advanced stages (III, IV) of the disease implied risk of death, mainly due to lymph node involvement and, to a lesser extent, tumor size. None of the studied molecular markers were found to be independent prognostic markers.
These results should be interpreted very cautiously, due to the limited number of patients studied, as well as the limitations of the IHC technique.