Objective: To assess the thymidylate synthase protein (TS) in tumor cells of resected gastric cancer patients treated with adjuvant tegafur (TG), we reviewed the outcome of 94 randomized patients treated either with adjuvant TG plus mitomycin C (MMC) or MMC alone.
Methods: TS was determined in 76 out of 94 patients, previously randomized to receive adjuvant TG, 500 mg/m(2)/day p.o. for 6 months plus four courses of MMC, 10- 20 mg/m(2) i.v. every 6 weeks or MMC alone. An immunohistochemical assessment with the monoclonal antibody TS-106 was performed.
Results: Low TS was observed in 38 patients (20 treated with TG-MMC and 18 with MMC) and high TS in the other 38 patients (21 treated with TG-MMC and 17 with MMC). After 10 years' median follow-up time, 61% of adjuvant TG-MMC patients and 43% of MMC patients were alive and disease-free. Disease-free survival and overall survival were significantly better for patients treated with TG-MMC compared to MMC adjuvant (p = 0.0277 and p = 0.05), and low-TS compared to high-TS patients (p = 0.0184 and p = 0.0198). In 38 low-TS patients we observed an 83% chance to be disease-free in TG-MMC-treated patients and 55% in MMC-treated patients (p = 0.04).
Conclusions: A low TS level determines a subset of patients that may benefit from adjuvant oral TG when added to MMC showing a 5-year cure rate of more than 80%.
Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel