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Association of gastric and intestinal phenotypic marker expression of gastric carcinomas with tumor thymidylate synthase expression and response to postoperative chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil

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Abstract

Purpose

It is well known that both gastric and intestinal phenotypic markers are expressed in gastric carcinomas, irrespective of their histological type. In the present study, the associations among phenotypic marker expression of gastric carcinomas, tumor thymidylate synthase (TS) expression, and the chemotherapeutic response to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) were examined.

Methods

The gastric and intestinal phenotypic marker expression of the tumor was determined by the combination of the expression of human gastric mucin (HGM), MUC6, MUC2, and CD10, and was evaluated in comparison with tumor TS expression in 137 advanced gastric carcinomas in 137 patients (75 with postoperative chemotherapy with 5-FU and 62 without postoperative chemotherapy). Tumors were classified into the gastric- (G-), gastric and intestinal mixed- (GI-), intestinal- (I-), or unclassified- (UC-) phenotype according to the immunopositivity of HGM, MUC6, MUC2, and CD10 stainings. The associations among the gastric and intestinal phenotypic marker expression of the tumor, tumor TS expression, effect of postoperative chemotherapy with 5-FU, and the patient’s prognosis were examined.

Results

Of the 137 gastric carcinomas, 48 (35.0%), 58 (42.3%), 23 (16.8%), and 8 (5.8%)were classified as the G-, GI-, I- and UC-phenotype, respectively. The high TS expression of more than 25% tumor cell positivity was found in 25 (52.1%) of the 48 G-phenotype tumors, 39 (67.2%) of the 58 GI-phenotype tumors, 18 (78.3%) of the 23 I-phenotype tumors, and 4 (50.0%) of the 8 UC-phenotype tumors. The I-phenotype tumors were significantly correlated with the higher rate of the high TS expression as compared with the G-phenotype tumors (P<0.05). Among 48 patients with the G-phenotype tumor, the 5-year survival rate in patients with and without postoperative chemotherapy was 39.7 and 27.8%, respectively. The patients with postoperative chemotherapy had a significantly better prognosis than those without postoperative chemotherapy (P<0.05). Conversely, there were no significant correlations between the presence of postoperative chemotherapy and the patient’s prognosis among patients with GI-, I-, and UC-phenotype tumors.

Conclusions

These results indicate that postoperative chemotherapy with 5-FU could be effective for patients with the G-phenotype tumor, since the incidence of intratumoral expression of TS, the target enzyme of 5-FU, is significantly low in G-phenotype tumors.

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Acknowledgement. The authors thank N. Ide and N. Nishino for their excellent technical assistance.

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Correspondence to Kazuhide Kumagai.

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Tajima, Y., Shimoda, T., Nakanishi, Y. et al. Association of gastric and intestinal phenotypic marker expression of gastric carcinomas with tumor thymidylate synthase expression and response to postoperative chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 129, 683–690 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-003-0476-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-003-0476-0

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