Use of neuroendocrine markers, p53, and HER2 to predict response to chemotherapy in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer: a Cancer and Leukemia Group B study.
Several studies have suggested that non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients whose tumors have neuroendocrine (NE) features may be more responsive to chemotherapy. In addition, increased expression of p53 and HER2 may confer relative chemotherapy resistance and shortened survival. The Cancer and Leukemia Group B performed a series of studies involving sequential chemotherapy followed by radiation for patients with unresectable stage III NSCLC. The objectives of this study were to analyze pathological specimens using immunohistochemistry for NE markers, p53 and HER2 to determine if there was a correlation between marker expression and response or survival. Of 160 eligible patients, 28 (18%) were not evaluable because of inadequate material. The percentage of specimens positive for markers was as follows: neuron-specific enolase 38%, Leu-7 2%, chromogranin A 0%, synaptophysin 5%, > or =2+NE markers 3%, p53 61%, and HER2 65%. There was no statistically significant correlation between any individual marker and response to induction chemotherapy or response to combined chemotherapy/radiation except for synaptophysin. Six of 6 (100%) synaptophysin positive tumors responded by the completion of all therapy compared with 69/125 (55%) synaptophysin negative tumors (P=0.04). None of the individual markers had a significant effect on survival in univariate analysis. Neuron-specific enolase was marginally significant in multivariate analysis (P=0.08). In conclusion, this study did not demonstrate that expression of NE markers, p53 and HER2 were predictive of response to chemotherapy, combined chemotherapy/radiation or for survival in this group of patients with stage III NSCLC. Future studies must employ either different markers or be performed on more adequate surgical specimens.
Graziano, SL; Tatum, A; Herndon, JE; Box, J; Memoli, V; Green, MR; Kern, JA
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