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Predictive markers of chemoresistance in advanced stages epithelial ovarian carcinoma.

Gynecologic oncology (2014-12-03)
Claire Bonneau, Roman Rouzier, Caroline Geyl, Annie Cortez, Mathieu Castela, Raphael Lis, Emile Daraï, Cyril Touboul
ABSTRACT

DNA repair mechanisms, environment-mediated drug resistance and cancer initiating cells (CIC) are three major research concepts that can explain the chemoresistance of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). The objective was to test if changes in the expression of potential markers associated with drug resistance before and after chemotherapy would correlate with platinum resistance, defined as a recurrence within the first year after chemotherapy cessation, and with survival, in advanced EOC. We included 32 patients with stage IIIC-IV EOC who underwent laparoscopy to evaluate the extent of carcinomatosis, neoadjuvant chemotherapy (carboplatin/taxol) and interval surgery. Biopsies taken during the initial laparoscopies and interval surgeries were evaluated using immunohistochemistry for the expression of 7 proteins: CD117, CD44 and ALDH1 to evaluate CIC; IL-6, IL-8 and BMP2 to evaluate environment-mediated drug resistance; and ERCC1 to evaluate DNA repair. Expression measurements were correlated with platin resistance and survival. The markers' relevance was confirmed in vitro using chemoresistance tests and flow cytometric measurements of the proportion of CD44+ cells. 17 patients were chemoresistant and 15 patients were chemosensitive. We observed increases in CD44, IL-6 and ERCC1 expression and stable ALDH1, CD117, IL-8, and BMP2 expression. Reduced expression of cancer initiating cell markers and increased expression of environment-mediated drug resistance markers were associated with poor prognosis. We also demonstrated that CD44+ cells had survival advantages in vitro. Changes in CD44 and IL-8 expression on tumor cells appeared to correlate with overall survival and should be further tested as predictors of chemoresistance using larger cohort.

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