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Anticancer research

Effect of long interval between hyperthermochemoradiation therapy and surgery for rectal cancer on apoptosis, proliferation and tumor response.


PMID 24922685

Abstract

Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy is commonly used to improve the local control and resectability of locally advanced rectal cancer, with surgery performed after an interval of a number of weeks. We have been conducting a clinical trial of preoperative chemoradiotherapy in combination with regional hyperthermia (hyperthermo-chemoradiation therapy; HCRT) for locally advanced rectal cancer. In the current study we assessed the effect of a longer (>10 weeks) interval after neoadjuvant HCRT on pathological response, oncological outcome and especially on apoptosis, proliferation and p53 expression in patients with rectal cancer. Forty-eight patients with proven rectal adenocarcinoma who underwent HCRT followed by surgery were identified for inclusion in this study. Patients were divided into two groups according to the interval between HCRT and surgery, ≤ 10 weeks (short-interval group) and >10 weeks (long-interval group). Patients in the long-interval group had a significantly higher rate of pathological complete response (pCR) (43.5% vs. 16.0%) than patients of the short-interval group. Patients of the long-interval group had a significantly higher rate of down-staging of T-stage (78.3% vs. 36.0%) and relatively higher rate of that of N-stage (52.2% vs. 36.0%) than patients of the short-interval group. Furthermore, apoptosis in the long-interval group was relatively higher compared to that of the short-interval group, without a significant difference in the Ki-67 proliferative index and expression of p53 in the primary tumor. In conclusion, we demonstrated that a longer interval after HCRT (>10 weeks) seemed to result in a better chance of a pCR, a result confirmed by the trends in tumor response markers, including apoptosis, proliferation and p53 expression.