p53 point mutations and thymidylate synthase messenger RNA levels in disseminated colorectal cancer: An analysis of response and survival

Heinz Josef Lenz, Kazuhiko Hayashi, Dennis Salonga, Kathleen D. Danenberg, Peter V. Danenberg, Ralf Metzger, Debabrata Banerjee, Joseph Bertino, Susan Groshen, Lawrence P. Leichman, Cynthia G. Leichman

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Abstract

Recent studies suggest that there may be a strong correlation between the p53 status of a tumor and a patient's response to chemotherapy. Therefore, we determined p53 status in 36 patients with disseminated colorectal cancer by cDNA sequencing and immunohistochemical staining, as well as by the gene expression level of thymidylate synthase (TS), the target enzyme of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), by reverse transcription-PCR. Ten patients (28%) experienced a clinical response to 5-FU chemotherapy. Overall, TS expression and response to chemotherapy were associated: 9 of 18 (50%) patients with TS ≤ 3.0 x 10-3 responded, compared to 1 of 18 (6%) patients with TS > 3.0 x 10-3 (P = 0.003). p53 mutations were found in 21 of 36 patients (58%) using cDNA cycle sequencing, and p53 protein overexpression was found in 20 of 32 patients (62%) using immunohistochemistry staining. Overall p53 status and response to chemotherapy were associated: 5 of 10 (50%) patients with wildtype p53 or negative p53 staining experienced a response, but only 5 of 26 (19%) patients with mutant p53 or p53 overexpression responded. TS expression, but not expression of p53, was significantly associated with overall survival (P = 0.002). Patients with wild-type p53 had significantly lower TS levels compared to patients with mutated p53 (P = 0.044). In this study, we also present data linking specific p53 point mutations to TS expression levels and resistance to 5-FU. Although the number of patients is relatively small, these results identify p53 status and TS gene expression as associated with response in disseminated colorectal cancer; independent studies are needed to confirm these findings and to provide information leading to a better understanding of the role of 5-FU- based chemotherapy in the treatment of colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1243-1250
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Volume4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 1998

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Lenz, H. J., Hayashi, K., Salonga, D., Danenberg, K. D., Danenberg, P. V., Metzger, R., ... Leichman, C. G. (1998). p53 point mutations and thymidylate synthase messenger RNA levels in disseminated colorectal cancer: An analysis of response and survival. Clinical Cancer Research, 4(5), 1243-1250.