Published online Nov 28, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i44.4905
Revised: June 21, 2011
Accepted: June 28, 2011
Published online: November 28, 2011
AIM: To investigate the association between prognosis of rectal cancer treated with chemoradiotherapy (CRT) and expression of sensitive-to-apoptosis (SAG), B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-XL) and Bcl-2 homologous antagonist/killer (Bak).
METHODS: Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the expression of proteins of interest, namely SAG, Bcl-XL, Bak and β-actin, in rectal carcinoma patients who had a follow-up period of 3 years after CRT. Biopsy specimens were excised from the rectal tumor preceding CRT.
RESULTS: SAG, Bcl-XL and Bak proteins showed significant correlations with each other. In multivariate analysis, patients with high vs low SAG expression showed a statistically significant difference in 2-year survival rates: 56% vs 73%, respectively (P = 0.056). On the other hand, there were no significant correlations between the expression levels of all three genes and metastatic rates or tumor responses to CRT. Mean overall survival in the patients with elevated SAG expression was 27.1 mo ± 3.9 mo [95% confidence interval (CI): 19.3-34.9], and in patients with reduced expression, it was 32.1 mo ± 2.5 mo (95% CI: 27.3-36.9). The corresponding values for Bcl-XL were 28.0 mo ± 4.1 mo (95% CI: 19.9-36.1) and 31.7 mo ± 2.9 mo (95% CI: 26.0-37.5), and those for Bak were 29.8 mo ± 3.7 mo (95% CI: 22.5-37.2) and 30.6 mo ± 2.4 mo (95% CI: 25.5-35.0), respectively.
CONCLUSION: Two-year survival rates significantly correlated with low SAG expression, and SAG may be a candidate gene for good prognosis, independent of therapeutic response of different individuals.