Experimental Design: Tissue microarrays were constructed from matched normal and tumor tissue derived from patients (n = 253) enrolled in a phase III trial of adjuvant 5-fluorouracil–based chemotherapy versus postoperative observation alone. TRAIL, DR5, caspase 8, and c-FLIP expression levels were determined by immunohistochemistry.
Results: Colorectal tumors displayed significantly higher expression levels of c-FLIP (P < 0.001), caspase 8 (P = 0.01), and DR5 (P < 0.001), but lower levels of TRAIL (P < 0.001) compared with matched normal tissue. In univariate analysis, higher TRAIL expression in the tumor was associated with worse overall survival (P = 0.026), with a trend to decreased relapse-free survival (RFS; P = 0.06), and higher tumor c-FLIP expression was associated with a significantly decreased RFS (P = 0.015). Using multivariate predictive modeling for RFS in all patients and including all biomarkers, age, treatment, and stage, we found that the model was significant when the mean tumor c-FLIP expression score and disease stage were included (P < 0.001). As regards overall survival, the overall model was predictive when both TRAIL expression and disease stage were included (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: High c-FLIP and TRAIL expression may be independent adverse prognostic markers in stage II and III colorectal cancer and might identify patients most at risk of relapse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research