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Upregulation of trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) after rectal cancer chemoradiotherapy is an adverse prognostic factor and a potential therapeutic target

AuthorsCasado, Enrique ; Gómez del Pulgar, Teresa; Belda-Iniesta, Cristobal; Lacal, Juan Carlos ; Cejas, Paloma
Issue Date2012
CitationInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology - Biology - Physics 84(5): 1151-1158 (2012)
Abstract[Purpose]: Management of locally advanced rectal cancer (RC) consists of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) with fluoropyrimidines, followed by total mesorectal excision. We sought to evaluate the expression of selected genes, some of which were derived from a previous undirected SAGE (serial analysis of gene expression)-based approach, before and after CRT, to identify mechanisms of resistance. [Methods]: This retrospective cohort study included 129 consecutive patients. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction of 53 candidate genes was performed on the biopsy specimen before treatment and on the surgical specimen after CRT. A paired-samples t test was performed to determine genes that were significantly changed after CRT. The result was correlated with patients' disease-free survival. [Results]: Twenty-two genes were significantly upregulated, and two were significantly downregulated. Several of the upregulated genes have roles in cell cycle control; these include CCNB1IP1, RCC1, EEF2, CDKN1, TFF3, and BCL2. The upregulation of TFF3 was associated with worse disease-free survival on multivariate analyses (hazard ratio, 2.64; P=.027). Patients whose surgical specimens immunohistochemically showed secretion of TFF3 into the lumen of the tumoral microglands had a higher risk of relapse (hazard ratio, 2.51; P=.014). In vitro experiments showed that DLD-1 cells stably transfected with TFF3 were significantly less sensitive to 5-fluorouracil and showed upregulation of genes involved in the transcriptional machinery and in resistance to apoptosis. [Conclusion]: Upregulation of TFF3 after CRT for RC is associated with a higher risk of relapse. The physiological role of TFF3 in restoring the mucosa during CRT could be interfering with treatment efficacy. Our results could reveal not only a novel RC prognostic marker but also a therapeutic target. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.01.083
issn: 0360-3016
e-issn: 1879-355X
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