Impacts of excision repair cross-complementing gene 1 (ERCC1), dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase, and epidermal growth factor receptor on the outcomes of patients with advanced gastric cancer.
Using laser-captured microdissection and a real-time RT-PCR assay, we quantitatively evaluated mRNA levels of the following biomarkers in paraffin-embedded gastric cancer (GC) specimens obtained by surgical resection or biopsy: excision repair cross-complementing gene 1 (ERCC1), dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and five other biomarkers related to anticancer drug sensitivity. The study group comprised 140 patients who received first-line chemotherapy for advanced GC. All cancer specimens were obtained before chemotherapy. In patients who received first-line S-1 monotherapy (69 patients), low MTHFR expression correlated with a higher response rate (low: 44.9% vs high: 6.3%; P=0.006). In patients given first-line cisplatin-based regimens (combined with S-1 or irinotecan) (43 patients), low ERCC1 correlated with a higher response rate (low: 55.6% vs high: 18.8%; P=0.008). Multivariate survival analysis of all patients demonstrated that high ERCC1 (hazard ratio (HR): 2.38 (95% CI: 1.55-3.67)), high DPD (HR: 2.04 (1.37-3.02)), low EGFR (HR: 0.34 (0.20-0.56)), and an elevated serum alkaline phosphatase level (HR: 1.00 (1.001-1.002)) were significant predictors of poor survival. Our results suggest that these biomarkers are useful predictors of clinical outcomes in patients with advanced GC.