Prognostic role of thymidylate synthase, thymidine phosphorylase/platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor, and proliferation markers in colorectal cancer

Baukelien Van Triest, Herbert M. Pinedo, Johannes L G Blaauwgeers, Paul J. Van Diest, Pascale S. Schoenmakers, Daphne A. Voorn, Kees Smid, Klaas Hoekman, Henk F W Hoitsma, Godefridus J. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

5-Fluorouracil (5FU)-based therapy is given to patients with advanced colorectal cancer and as adjuvant treatment. Thymidylate synthase (TS) is the target for 5FU, and may have a prognostic role for the outcome of 5FU-based therapy together with proliferation markers such as p53 and Ki67. Thymidine phosphorylase (TP, also known as platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor) may be of importance both in the 5FU drug activation pathway and in tumor angiogenesis, similar to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). TS and TP levels were determined biochemically in fresh-frozen tumor specimens of 32 untreated patients with colorectal cancer, whereas in paraffin-embedded tissue samples, immunohistochemistry was performed for TS, TP, and additional prognostic markers such as p53, Ki67, and VEGF as well as microvessel density. All factors were correlated with patient characteristics such as age, gender, Dukes' stage, angio-invasion, and differentiation grade. TS and TP as measured by various assays were correlated with overall and disease- free survival in this patient group. TP enzyme activity and protein expression correlated with each other. A significant correlation was found between TP enzyme activity and 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine-5'-monophosphate binding activity. VEGF expression correlated significantly with TP immunostaining and Ki67 index. Survival analysis revealed a significant relation of TS levels to the overall survival in this small patient group and a significant correlation between TP activity and disease-free survival. TS and TP both were of prognostic significance in these patients with colorectal cancer. The interesting relationship of TS and TP with angiogenesis and proliferation needs further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1072
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Volume6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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