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Extracellular matrix proteins and chemoradiotherapy: alpha5beta1 integrin as a predictive marker in rectal cancer

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2002
<mark>Journal</mark>European Journal of Surgical Oncology : The Journal of the European Society of Surgical Oncology and the British Association of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)30-36
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


AIMS: To investigate the effects of extracellular matrix (ECM) protein expression on the rates of apoptosis and proliferation in rectal cancers and subsequent response to chemoradiotherapy (CRT).

METHODS: The expression of fibronectin, collagen IV, laminin and the fibronectin receptor (FnR, alpha5beta1 integrin) were analysed in 32 pre-treatment rectal cancer biopsies by immunohistochemistry. ECM expression was correlated with tumour mitotic index (MI), apoptotic index (AI) and histopathological response to CRT.

RESULTS: 18/32 cancers showed a poor response and 14/32 a good response (5/14 with complete pathological response) to CRT. Moderate to strong staining was seen in 22/32 cancers for fibronectin, 5/32 for collagen IV and 18/32 for laminin. Tumour FnR was related to stromal fibronectin content, and was significantly associated with CRT response; good responders having higher FnR expression compared to poor responders. No association was found between FnR expression and either MI or AI in pre-treatment biopsies, nor between MI or AI and CRT response.

CONCLUSIONS: Tumour FnR expression is independent of MI and AI, and may serve as a useful marker for CRT response in rectal cancer.