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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Thymidylate synthase, thymidine phosphorylase, dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase expression, and histological tumour regression after 5-FU-based neo-adjuvant chemoradiotherapy in rectal cancer.

Pre-operative 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-based chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced rectal cancer (UICC-II/III) may significantly reduce local tumour mass. Response to pre-operative treatment, however, varies significantly. Thymidylate synthase (TS), thymidine phosphorylase (TP), and dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) are thought to be important predictors for the efficiency of 5-FU-based treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the correlation between TS-, TP-, and DPD-gene expression and the response to 5-FU-based long-term pre-operative chemoradiotherapy assessed by histopathological tumour regression. Additionally, the predictive value of intra-tumoural TS-, TP-, and DPD-gene expression in pre-operative rectal tumour biopsies was assessed by correlation with the histopathological regression grade. Formalin-fixed, paraffin wax-embedded pre-operative biopsies (n = 14) and surgical resection specimens (n = 40) from patients with rectal carcinoma (clinical UICC stage II/III) receiving neo-adjuvant 5-FU-based chemoradiotherapy were studied for TS-, TP-, and DPD-gene expression by quantitative TaqMan real-time PCR after laser microdissection. Results were compared with standardized histopathological tumour regression analysis. There was a significant association between low TS-gene expression in pre-operative tumour biopsies and tumour response (p = 0.02). TS- and TP-gene expression was significantly lower in resection specimens of responders than of non-responders (p = 0.02) when microdissection was used. Statistical significance was even higher when TS and TP were combined (p = 0.0001). For the DPD gene, no significance was found at all. In conclusion, this study shows that TS gene expression in a pretreatment biopsy predicts the response of local rectal cancer to neo-adjuvant 5-FU-based chemoradiotherapy in a high percentage. Moreover, intra-tumoural TS- and TP-gene expression in surgical rectal specimens after neo-adjuvant chemoradiotherapy correlates significantly with histopathological tumour regression when microdissection is applied.[1]


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