, Volume 74, Issue 4, pp 777-786
Date: 09 Aug 2014

Predictive value of APE1, BRCA1, ERCC1 and TUBB3 expression in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving first-line platinum–paclitaxel chemotherapy

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Drug resistance is not only one of the major obstacles to treatment but also a poor prognosis in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive value of APE1, BRCA1, ERCC1 and TUBB3 in advanced NSCLC patients who received platinum–paclitaxel treatment.


One hundred and thirty-six advanced NSCLC patients, who were treated with first-line platinum–paclitaxel chemotherapy, were enrolled in this study. The protein expression levels of APE1, BRCA1, ERCC1 and TUBB3 were assessed by immunohistochemistry and analyzed for the association with response to chemotherapy and progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).


Patients with negative expression of APE1, ERCC1 or TUBB3 benefited from platinum plus paclitaxel regimen chemotherapy. ERCC1-negative patients had better PFS (P = 0.016) and OS (P = 0.030) compared with positive patients. Similarly, the APE1-negative patients showed better PFS (P = 0.004) and longer OS though statistically insignificant. Multivariate analysis showed that APE1 and ERCC1 were independent predictor for PFS (HR 2.07; P = 0.004 and HR 1.66; P = 0.016) and OS (HR 1.99; P = 0.008 and HR 1.64; P = 0.040). Moreover, patients with both APE1- and ERCC1-negative or both APE1- and TUBB3-negative tumors had significantly higher response rate, longer median PFS and OS following treatment with platinum and paclitaxel (P < 0.05).


The data indicate that APE1, ERCC1 and TUBB3 could be a useful biomarker to predict clinical outcome in patients with advanced NSCLC receiving first-line platinum–paclitaxel chemotherapy.