Heterogeneity of excision repair cross-complementation group 1 gene expression in non-small-cell lung cancer patients

Mol Clin Oncol. 2015 Jan;3(1):227-331. doi: 10.3892/mco.2014.415. Epub 2014 Sep 10.


Excision repair cross-complementation group 1 (ERCC1) gene expression analysis is currently used widely in the molecular diagnosis of cancer. According to numerous studies, ERCC1 gene expression correlates with overall survival and effectiveness of chemotherapy with platinum agents. However, the degree of this correlation differs among various studies, with certain authors reporting a complete lack of such a correlation. These contradictions may be attributed to a number of factors, including the heterogeneity of the tumor tissue. In this study, we attempted to assess the degree of genetic heterogeneity exhibited by tissue samples obtained from non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) through the expression of the ERCC1 gene. This study included 25 samples of tumor tissue from patients with a morphologically confirmed NSCLC diagnosis. A total of three randomized sections of each specimen were used. The ERCC1 gene expression was assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in the TaqMan format. When planning the experiment and analysis of qPCR data, the MIQE guidelines were taken into consideration. We established that the coefficient of variation of the relative level of ERCC1 gene expression in the majority of the samples exceeded 33% (P<0.05), indicating the significant heterogeneity of the sample. We also demonstrated that the degree of heterogeneity of the tumor tissue is largely dependent on disease stage.

Keywords: chemotherapy; excision repair cross-complementation group 1; expression; heterogeneity; non-small-cell lung cancer; quantitative polymerase chain reaction.