We evaluated the expression of 5-FU pathway genes in prechemotherapeutic fresh frozen samples obtained from primary tumors to predict response and survival of 59 metastatic gastric cancer patients treated with S-1 monotherapy as first line treatment. Five 5-FU pathway genes, including thymidylate synthase (TS), dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRT), thymidine phosphorylase (TP) and uridine phosphorylase (UP), were analyzed by the quantitative real-time reverse transcriptional PCR method. Median values of each gene were selected for cut-off values separating high and low gene expressions. In univariate analyses, low TS, high OPRT and low TP were significantly associated with a tumor shrinkage and a long survival, whereas DPD and UP gene expressions did not correlate with response and survival. Multivariate analyses revealed that independent variables were OPRT and TS for response and TS and TP for survival. When OPRT and TS were combined, a significantly increased accuracy rate of 91.5% was seen for response. Similarly, an increased hazard ratio of 10.29 was observed for survival in patients possessing low TS and low TP, compared with those with high TS or high TP. The simple combinations of 2 genes, OPRT and TS for response and TS and TP for survival, may allow identification of gastric cancer patients who will benefit from S-1 chemotherapy.
Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.