Background: High expression of the RNA-binding motif protein 3 (RBM3) has been shown to correlate, with prolonged survival in several malignant diseases and with the benefit of platinum-based chemotherapy in ovarian cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate RBM3 in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) as a prognostic factor for overall survival and in relation to benefit of first-line chemotherapy.
Methods: Immunohistochemical staining was conducted and evaluated in tumours from 455 mCRC patients. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression proportional hazards models were used to access the impact of RBM3 expression on overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS).
Results: High RBM3 expression, both nuclear and cytoplasmic, was an independent prognostic factor for prolonged OS (hazard ratio [HR] 0.67, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.50-0.90 and HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.48-0.91, respectively). PFS was significantly longer in patients with high RBM3 expression who had received first-line oxaliplatin based treatment, compared to those who had received irinotecan based treatment, both regarding nuclear and cytoplasmic expression (p-value 0.020 and 0.022 respectively).
Conclusion: High RBM3 expression is an independent predictor of prolonged survival in mCRC patients, in particular in patients treated with first-line oxaliplatin based chemotherapy.