Background: The mechanisms of chemoresistance in ovarian cancer patients remain largely to be elucidated. Paclitaxel/cisplatin combination is the standard chemotherapeutic treatment for this disease, although some patients do not respond to therapy. Our goals were to investigate whether TUBB mutations and mismatch repair defects underlie paclitaxel and cisplatin resistance.
Methods: Thirty-four patients with primary ovarian carcinomas (26 serous and eight clear cell carcinomas) treated with paclitaxel/cisplatin were analysed. TUBB exon 4 was analysed by nested PCR after a first round PCR using intronic primers. Microsatellite analysis was performed with the quasimonomorphic markers BAT 26 and BAT 34.
Results: Twenty-two of the 34 ovarian cancers (64.7%) presented residual tumour after surgery, seven of which (7/22; 31.8%) were shown to be chemoresistant (five serous and two clear cell tumours). Sequence analysis did not find any mutation in TUBB exon 4. Microsatellite instability was not detected in any of the ovarian carcinomas.
Conclusion: We conclude that TUBB exon 4 mutations and mismatch repair defects do not play a significant role in paclitaxel/cisplatin resistance.