Major pathologic response and RAD51 predict survival in lung cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy

Apar Pataer, Ruping Shao, Arlene M Correa, Carmen Behrens, Jack A Roth, Ara A Vaporciyan, Ignacio I Wistuba, Stephen G Swisher
Cancer Medicine 2018, 7 (6): 2405-2414
In a previous study, we determined that major pathologic response (MPR) as indicated by the percentage of residual viable tumor cells predicted overall survival (OS) in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. In this study, we assessed whether two genes and five protein biomarkers could predict MPR and OS in 98 patients with NSCLC receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We collected formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens of resected NSCLC tumors from 98 patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We identified mutations in KRAS and EGFR genes using pyrosequencing and examined the expression of protein markers VEGFR2, EZH2, ERCC1, RAD51, and PKR using immunohistochemistry. We assessed whether gene mutation status or protein expression was associated with MPR or OS. We observed that KRAS mutation tended to be associated with OS (P = .06), but EGFR mutation was not associated with OS. We found that patients with high RAD51 expression levels had a poorer prognosis than did those with low RAD51 expression. We also observed that RAD51 expression was associated with MPR. MPR and RAD51 expression were associated with OS in univariate and multivariate analyses (P = .04 and P = .02, respectively). Combination of MPR with RAD51 is a significant predictor of prognosis in patients with NSCLC who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We demonstrated that MPR or RAD51 expression was associated with OS in patients with NSCLC receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Prediction of a patient's prognosis could be improved by combined assessment of MPR and RAD51 expression.

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