Background: The prognosis for patients with scirrhous gastric cancer (SGC) is extremely poor. To improve the patients' prognosis, laparoscopic-assisted intraperitoneal chemotherapy (IPC) was introduced for SGC. In this study, we analyzed whether IPC reduced the number of cancer cells in the peritoneal cavity of patients or changed the gene expression levels of cytokines in the peritoneal cavity. We also investigated whether IPC improved the prognosis of patients with SGC.
Methods: Total RNA was extracted from 50 ml of peritoneal wash from 11 SGC patients before and after cisplatin-based IPC. The gene expression levels of survivin, c-myc, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-6, and IL-12 were analyzed using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays. Also, carcinoembrionic antigen (CEA) messenger RNA (mRNA) was used to identify the number of gastric cancer cells in peritoneal washes by the real-time RT-PCR method. The gene expression levels of cytokines and the number of cancer cells in the peritoneal cavity were compared before and after cisplatin-based IPC treatment.
Results: Before IPC, the gene expression of IL-2 from peritoneal washes of patients was significantly suppressed compared to the controls (p = 0.029); however, other gene expression levels did not differ. In 7 cases, more than 90% of the cancer cells were removed from the peritoneal cavity after cisplatin-based IPC. These 7 cases were named the IPC effective group, and the remaining 4 cases were named the IPC ineffective group. In the IPC effective group, elevated IL-2 and IL-6 genes were detected in 5 (71%) and in 6 (86%) after IPC. The correlation between IPC effectiveness and elevated gene expression after IPC (IL-2: p = 0.137, and IL-6: p = 0.044) was observed. However, the 50% survival period of the IPC effective group (9 months) was not different from that of that of the IPC ineffective group (6 months, p = 0.267).
Conclusion: IPC effectiveness may correlate with elevation of gene expression of inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-2 and IL-6 in the peritoneal cavity after IPC. However, the prognostic benefits of IPC for SGC patients remain unclear.
Copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.