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Open Access Research article

Thymidine Phosphorylase/β-tubulin III expressions predict the response in Chinese advanced gastric cancer patients receiving first-line capecitabine plus paclitaxel

Jing Gao, Ming Lu, Jing-wei Yu, Yan-yan Li and Lin Shen*

Author Affiliations

Key laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Department of GI Oncology, Peking University School of Oncology, Beijing Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing, China

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:177  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-177

Published: 18 May 2011

Abstract

Background

To assess the role of Thymidine Phosphorylase and β-tubulin III in clinical outcome of Chinese advanced gastric cancer patients receiving first-line capecitabine plus paclitaxel.

Methods

The clinical data and tumor biopsies prior treatment from 33 advanced gastric cancer patients receiving capecitabine plus paclitaxel (cohort 1, experimental group) and 18 patients receiving capecitabine plus cisplatin (cohort 2, control group) in Beijing Cancer Hospital from July 2003 to December 2008 were retrospectively collected and analyzed for Thymidine Phosphorylase and β-tubulin III expressions by immunohistochemistry. The relationships between expressions of biomarkers and response or survival were determined by statistical analysis.

Results

The median age of 51 patients was 57 years (range, 27-75) with male 34 and female 17, and the response rate, median progression-free survival and overall survival were 43.1%, 120d and 265d. Among cohort 1, the response rate, median progression-free survival and overall survival in β-tubulin III positive (n = 22) and negative patients (n = 11) were 36.4%/72.7% (positive vs negative, P = 0.049), 86d/237d (P = 0.046) and 201d/388d (P = 0.029), respectively; the response rate (87.5% vs 14.3%, P = 0.01) and median progression-free survival (251d vs 84d, P = 0.003) in Thymidine Phosphorylase positive & β-tubulin III negative patients (n = 8) were also significantly higher than those in Thymidine Phosphorylase negative & β-tubulin III positive patients (n = 7). There was no correlation between β-tubulin III expression and response or survival among cohort 2 (n = 18).

Conclusions

In Chinese advanced gastric cancer, Thymidine Phosphorylase positive & β-tubulin III negative might predict response and prognosis to capecitabine plus paclitaxel chemotherapy. Further prospective evaluation in large samples should be performed to confirm these preliminary findings.