To examine whether efficacy of postoperative oral administration of UFT, a 5-fluorouracil derivative chemotherapeutic agent, may be influenced by incidence of apoptosis (apoptosis index) or apoptosis-related gene status (p53 and bcl-2) of the tumour, a total of 162 patients with pathologic stage I non-small cell lung cancer were retrospectively reviewed. UFT was administrated postoperatively to 44 patients (UFT group), and not to the other 118 patients (Control group). For all patients, 5-year survival rate of the UFT group (79.9%) seemed higher than that of the Control group (69.8%), although without significant difference (P = 0.054). For patients with higher apoptotic index, 5-year survival rate of the UFT group (83.3%) was significantly higher than that of the Control group (67.6%, P = 0.039); for patients with lower apoptotic index, however, there was no difference in the prognosis between these two groups. Similarly, UFT was effective for patients without p53 aberrant expression (5-year survival rates: 95.2% for the UFT group and 74.3% for the Control group, P = 0.022), whereas not effective for patients with p53 aberrant expression. Bcl-2 status did not influence the efficacy of UFT. In conclusion, apoptotic index and p53 status are useful factors to predict the efficacy of postoperative adjuvant therapy using UFT.
Copyright 2001 Cancer Research Campaign.