Genomic profiling associated with recurrence in patients with rectal cancer treated with chemoradiation

Pharmacogenomics. 2006 Jan;7(1):67-88. doi: 10.2217/14622416.7.1.67.


Purpose: Stage II and III adenocarcinoma of the rectum has an overall 5-year survival rate of approximately 50%, and tumor recurrence remains a major problem despite an improvement in local control through chemotherapy and radiation. The efficacy of chemoradiation therapy may be significantly compromised as a result of interindividual variations in clinical response and host toxicity. Therefore, it is imperative to identify those patients who will benefit from chemoradiation therapy and those who will develop recurrent disease. In this study, we tested whether a specific pattern of 21 polymorphisms in 18 genes involved in the critical pathways of cancer progression (i.e., drug metabolism, tumor microenvironment, cell cycle regulation, and DNA repair) will predict the risk of tumor recurrence in rectal cancer patients treated with chemoradiation.

Patients and methods: A total of 90 patients with Stage II or III rectal cancer treated with chemoradiation were genotyped using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based techniques for 21 polymorphisms.

Results: A polymorphism in interleukin (IL)-8 was individually associated with risk of recurrence. Classification and regression tree analysis of all polymorphisms and clinical variables developed a risk tree including the following variables: node status, IL-8, intracellular adhesion molecule-1, transforming growth factor-beta, and fibroblast growth factor receptor 4.

Conclusion: Genomic profiling may help to identify patients who are at high risk for developing tumor recurrence, and those who are more likely to benefit from chemoradiation therapy. A larger prospective study is needed to validate these preliminary data using germline polymorphisms on tumor recurrences in rectal cancer patients treated with chemoradiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / genetics
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Disease Progression
  • Endonucleases / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology
  • Genes, p53 / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi / genetics
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Rectal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Rectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Rectal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Recurrence
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Interleukin-8
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • X-ray repair cross complementing protein 3
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • GSTP1 protein, human
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi
  • ERCC1 protein, human
  • Endonucleases