Genetic variants in nucleotide excision repair pathway predict survival of esophageal squamous cell cancer patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.


The benefits of platinum-based chemotherapy (PBC) on survival of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients are inexplicit due to the varied therapeutic effects. Nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway plays a vital role in removing platinum-DNA adducts in tumor cells and hence may modulate the therapeutic effect and survival outcome. The present study assessed the associations of 26 potentially functional regulatory single nucleotide polymorphisms (rSNPs) in nine core NER genes with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in 339 ESCC patients. We found that ERCC2 rs2097215 T and rs3916788 A, ERCC5 rs3759497 A and XPC rs3731054 C alleles were associated with unfavorable DFS. Patients carrying high-risk allele group (HRG, 5-8 risk alleles) had a significantly shorter DFS, compared with those carrying low-risk alleles (LRG, 0-4 risk alleles) [adjusted hazards ratio (HRadj ) = 1.64, 95%CI = 1.23-2.19, Padj  < 0.001]. Three of these SNPs (ie, ERCC2 rs2097215 T and rs3916788 A and ERCC5 rs3759497 A) were also significantly associated with a poorer OS (HRG vs LRG: HRadj  = 1.75, 95%CI = 1.23-2.47, Padj  = 0.002). The expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis revealed significant genotype-expression correlations for ERCC5 rs3759497 and ERCC2 2097215 and rs3916788, which suggest regulatory roles of these SNPs. It appears that these NER variants may independently or jointly exert an impact on survival outcome of Chinese ESCC patients undergoing adjuvant platinum-based therapy. Large studies are warranted to validate these findings.





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Publication Info

Zhang, Ruoxin, Fei Zhou, Lei Cheng, Alexandria Yu, Meiling Zhu, Mengyun Wang, Zhuanxu Zhang, Jiaqing Xiang, et al. (2018). Genetic variants in nucleotide excision repair pathway predict survival of esophageal squamous cell cancer patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy. Molecular carcinogenesis, 57(11). pp. 1553–1565. 10.1002/mc.22877 Retrieved from

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Qingyi Wei

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Qingyi Wei, MD, PhD, Professor in the Department of Medicine, is Associate Director for Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Co-leader of CCPS and Co-leader of Epidemiology and Population Genomics (Focus Area 1). He is a professor of Medicine and an internationally recognized epidemiologist focused on the molecular and genetic epidemiology of head and neck cancers, lung cancer, and melanoma. His research focuses on biomarkers and genetic determinants for the DNA repair deficient phenotype and variations in cell death. He is Editor-in-Chief of the open access journal "Cancer Medicine" and Associate Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics.

Area of Expertise: Epidemiology

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