Backgrounds. Class III β tubulin (TUBB3) is a prognostic marker in various tumors and role of TUBB3 in advanced gastric cancer is not clearly defined yet. We analyzed the significance of TUBB3 expression along with ERCC1 in recurrent or metastatic gastric cancer patients receiving taxane based first-line palliative chemotherapy.

Methods. We reviewed 146 patients with advanced gastric adenocarcinoma who received taxane based first-line palliative chemotherapy between 2004 and 2010 at Chonnam National University Hwasun hospital. Immunohistochemical stain of TUBB3 and ERCC1 was done in paraffin-embedded tumor tissue. We evaluated response to chemotherapy, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS).

Results. A total of 146 patients with advanced gastric cancer received docetaxel and cisplatin (n=15), or paclitaxel and cisplatin (n=131). The median PFS was significantly shorter for patients with TUBB3 high expression than patients with TUBB3 low expression (3.63 versus 6.67 months, p=0.001). OS was not associated with TUBB3 expression status (12.9 versus 13.1 months, p=0.769). In multivariate analysis, only TUBB3 was related to shorter PFS (HR 2.74, 95% CI 1.91-3.91, p=0.001). Patients with ERCC1 high expression showed lower response rate than patients with ERCC1 low expression (24% versus 63.2%, p=0.001), however ERCC1 showed no clinical influence on PFS and OS.

Conclusions. TUBB3 is a strong predictive marker in recurrent or metastatic gastric cancer patients receiving taxane based first-line palliative chemotherapy. Clinical impact of ERCC1 is not evident in this setting.

Citation Format: Jun-Eul Hwang, Dae-Eun Kim, Hyun-Jeong Shim, Woo-Kyun Bae, In-Jae Oh, Sang-Hee Cho, Ik-Joo Chung. Class III beta tubulin is a strong predictive marker for taxane-based first-line palliative chemotherapy in recurrent or metastatic gastric cancer. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2013 Apr 6-10; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2013;73(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 4691. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-4691