To explore the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms of DNA repair genes and overall survival of patients with pancreatic cancer, we conducted a study in 378 cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma who were treated at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center between February 1999 and October 2004 and were followed up to April 2006. Genotypes were determined using genomic DNA and the MassCode method. Overall survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier plot, log-rank test and Cox regression. We observed a strong effect of the POLB A165G and T2133C genotypes on overall survival. The median survival time (MST) was 35.7 months for patients carrying at least 1 of the 2 homozygous variant POLB GG or CC genotypes, compared with 14.8 months for those carrying the AA/AG or TT/TC genotypes (p = 0.02, log rank test). The homozygous variants of hOGG1 G2657A, APEX1 D148E and XRCC1 R194W polymorphisms all showed a weak but significant effect on overall survival as demonstrated by either log rank test or multivariate COX regression after adjusting for other potential confounders. In combined genotype analysis, a predominant effect of the POLB homozygous variants on survival was observed. When POLB was not included in the model, a slightly better survival was observed among those carrying none of the adverse genotypes than those carrying at least one of the adverse genotypes. These observations suggest that polymorphisms of base excision repair genes significantly affect the clinical outcome of patients with pancreatic cancer. These observations need to be confirmed in a larger study of homogenous patient population.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.