Background: Fluorouracil and cisplatin have been used most frequently as neoadjuvant therapy for esophageal cancer. Both drugs are believed to act via a p53-dependent apoptosis pathway. The TP53 gene is frequently mutated in esophageal cancer.
Objective: To test the value of TP53 as a biomarker prognosing outcome in patients with neoadjuvantly treated esophageal cancer.
Patients and methods: The investigation included 36 patients with primary operable esophageal cancer who were treated neoadjuvantly with cisplatin and fluorouracil. The TP53 genotype was assessed from paraffin-embedded diagnostic tumor biopsies using a standardized gene-specific TP53 sequencing protocol (mark53 kit; mark53 Ltd, Vienna, Austria).
Results: Mutations in the TP53 gene were present in 50% of tumors. Two-year overall survival rates were 55.6% in patients with a normal TP53 marker status, compared with 16.7% in those with a mutant TP53 gene. In patients with normal TP53, neoadjuvant treatment resulted in significant advantages in terms of tumor-associated survival (P=.0049) and overall survival (P=.0304) compared with those with mutant TP53. The median tumor-associated survival was 34.2 months for patients with normal TP53, compared with 8.9 months for those with mutant TP53. The latter had a 3-fold higher risk of dying (hazard ratio, 3.01; 95% confidence interval, 1.359-6.86).
Conclusions: The biomarker TP53 divides esophageal cancer patients into 2 categories with markedly different outcomes: patients with a normal TP53 marker status may experience notable benefits from neoadjuvant chemotherapy with cisplatin/fluorouracil, whereas those with a mutant TP53 marker status appear to be at risk for lack of response.
Copyright © 2014 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.