Purpose: Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression has been shown to be associated with radiation resistance, which theoretically could be overcome with the use of COX-2 inhibitors. The purpose of this study was to assess the prognostic significance and clinical correlations of COX-2 expression (COX) in a cohort of patients treated with radiation for postmastectomy chest wall relapse. Experimental Design: Between 1975 and 1999,113 patients were treated for isolated postmastectomy chest wall relapse. All patients were treated with biopsy and/or excision of the chest wall recurrence followed by radiation therapy. Median follow-up was 10 years. All clinical data, including demographics, pathology, staging, receptor status, HER-2/neu status, and adjuvant therapy, were entered into a computerized database. Paraffin-embedded chest wall recurrence specimens were retrieved from 42 patients, of which 38 were evaluated, created into a tissue microarray, stained by immunohistochemical methods for COX, and graded 0 to 3+. A score of 2 to 3+ was considered positive. Results: Overall survival from original diagnosis for entire cohort was 44% at 10 years. Survival rate after chest wall recurrence was 28% at 10 years. The distant metastasis-free survival rate after chest wall recurrence was 40% at 10 years. Local-regional control of disease was achieved in 79% at 10 years after chest wall recurrence. COX was considered positive in 13 of 38 cases. COX was inversely correlated with estrogen receptor (P = 0.045) and progesterone receptor (P = 0.028), and positively correlated with HER-2/neu (P = 0.003). COX was also associated with a shorter time to postmastectomy chest wall relapse. The distant metastasis-free rate for COX-negative patients was 70% at 10 years, compared with 31% at 10 years for COX-2 - positive patients (P = 0.029). COX positive had a poorer local-regional progression-free rate of 19% at 10 years, compared with 81% at 10 years for COX negative. This was of high statistical significance with a P value of 0.003. Conclusions: Outcome following radiation therapy for postmastectomy chest wall relapse is relatively poor, Positive COX correlated with other markers of poor outcome, including a shorter time to local relapse, negative estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor, and positive Her-2/neu status. Positive COX correlated with higher distant metastasis and lower local-regional control of disease. If confirmed with larger studies, these data have implications with respect to the concurrent use of COX-2 inhibitors and radiation for postmastectomy chest wall relapse.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research