, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 371-379
Date: 23 Feb 2012

The role of βIII-tubulin in non-small cell lung cancer patients treated by taxane-based chemotherapy

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Abstract

Background

The aim of this study is to evaluate whether class III β-tubulin (TUBB3) expression could predict progression-free survival or overall survival in relapsed non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with taxene-based chemotherapy.

Methods

Immunohistochemistal staining was used to examine the expression of TUBB3 in resected lung tumor specimens obtained from 56 patients treated with platinum-based chemotherapy against recurrent tumors after curative resections. Excision repair cross-complementation group 1, breast cancer susceptibility gene 1, vascular endothelial growth factor, Ki-67, CD34, and p53 were also correlated with clinical features and outcome after treatment.

Results

Of the 56 patients enrolled in the study, 29 were treated by carboplatin plus paclitaxel as first-line treatment, and 24 patients received docetaxel monotherapy as second- or third-line treatment. A positive TUBB3 expression is closely associated with a poor response to taxane-based chemotherapy. TUBB3 expression was an independent prognostic factor for predicting poor progression-free survival after docetaxel administration. However, TUBB3 expression could not predict outcome after carboplatin plus paclitaxel treatment. The other biomarkers tested were not independent prognostic factors for predicting outcome after taxane-based chemotherapy.

Conclusion

TUBB3 expression is associated with resistance to taxane-based chemotherapy and is an independent prognostic factor for predicting poor progression-free survival after docetaxel treatment alone. TUBB3 expression may be a predictive marker for chemoresistance to docetaxel in NSCLC with postoperative recurrent disease.