Biomarkers of resistance to radiation therapy: a prospective study in cervical carcinoma


                  <p>Clinical parameters and proteins have recently been suggested as possible causes of radiotherapy (RT) resistance in cervical carcinoma (CC). The objective of the present study was to validate prognostic biomarkers of radiation resistance.</p> 

                  <p>The present prospective study included patients undergoing RT with curative intent for histologically proven locally advanced squamous cell CC. Tissues and blood samples were systematically collected before RT initiation. Immuno-histochemistry was performed (IGF-IR α and β, GAPDH, HIF-1 alpha, Survivin, GLUT1, CAIX, hTERT and HKII). Response to radiation was assessed through tumour response 3 months after RT completion, through overall survival (OS) and through progression-free survival (PFS).</p> 

                  <p>One hundred forty nine patients with a mean age of 46 years were included, with FIGO IIB (<em>n</em> = 53) and FIGO IIIB (<em>n</em> = 96) CCs. 61 patients were treated with exclusive RT + brachytherapy and 88 underwent chemo-radiotherapy + brachytherapy. Our findings suggest an association between hemoglobin level (Hb) (&gt;11 g/dL) and 3 months complete response (<em>p</em> = 0.02). Hb level &lt; 11 g/dL was associated with decreased PFS (<em>p</em> = 0.05) and OS (<em>p</em> = 0.08). Overexpression of IGF-1R β was correlated with a decreased OS (<em>p</em> = 0.007). Overexpression of GLUT1 was marginally correlated with reduced OS (<em>p</em> = 0.05). PFS and OS were significantly improved in patients undergoing chemoradiation versus exclusive radiotherapy (PFS: <em>p</em> = 0.04; OS: <em>p</em> = 0.01).</p> 

                  <p>IGF-1R β overexpression and Hb level (≤11 g/dl) were associated with poor prognosis, and thus appear to be possible interesting biomarkers of radiation resistance. Our results corroborate previous pre-clinical studies suggesting IGF-1R and hypoxia to be part of the biological pathways leading to radio-resistance.</p> 
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