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Contribution of c-erbB-2 and topoisomerase IIalpha to chemoresistance in ovarian cancer


Hengstler, J G; Lange, J; Kett, A; Dornhöfer, N; Meinert, R; Arand, M; Knapstein, P G; Becker, R; Oesch, F; Tanner, B (1999). Contribution of c-erbB-2 and topoisomerase IIalpha to chemoresistance in ovarian cancer. Cancer Research, 59(13):3206-3214.

Abstract

Overexpression of the c-erbB-2 (HER-2/neu) oncogene, which encodes a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase, has been shown to be associated with poor prognosis in ovarian and breast cancer. Recent studies indicate that c-erbB-2 may also be involved in determining the chemosensitivity of human cancers. In the present study, we examined the role of c-erbB-2 for chemoresistance in ovarian cancer. Overexpression of c-erbB-2 mRNA in tumor tissue was associated with a shorter survival of patients with primary ovarian cancer (P = 0.0001; n = 77) and was an independent prognostic factor in the proportional-hazard model adjusted for International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians stage, residual disease, chemotherapy, and age (P = 0.035). A significant association between expression of c-erbB-2 mRNA and survival was obtained for the subgroup of patients who received a standard chemotherapy with carboplatin or cisplatin and cyclophosphamide (P = 0.0003), whereas only a nonsignificant trend was observed for patients who did not receive a standard chemotherapy (P = 0.124). In addition, the application of a standard chemotherapy improved the survival of patients with relatively low c-erbB-2 expression (P = 0.013) but not of patients with overexpression of c-erbB-2 (P = 0.359). Expression of c-erbB-2 mRNA correlated with expression of topoisomerase IIalpha mRNA determined by a reverse semiquantitative PCR technique (P = 0.009), whereas expression of c-erbB-2 and topoisomerase IIbeta mRNA did not correlate (P = 0.221). To examine the hypothesis that coamplified and/or coregulated topoisomerase IIalpha contributes to the resistance of c-erbB-2-overexpressing carcinomas, we established a chemosensitivity assay using primary cells from an ovarian carcinoma that overexpressed both c-erbB-2 and topoisomerase IIalpha. The combination of carboplatin with nontoxic concentrations of the topoisomerase II inhibitors etoposide or novobiocin enhanced the toxicity of carboplatin. In contrast, the tyrosine kinase inhibitor emodin exhibited no chemosensitizing effect in cells of this individual carcinoma. In conclusion, overexpression of c-erbB-2 was associated with poor prognosis and poor response to chemotherapy. The data suggest that topoisomerase IIlalpha, which correlates with c-erbB-2 expression, contributes to the resistance of c-erbB-2-overexpressing carcinomas.

Overexpression of the c-erbB-2 (HER-2/neu) oncogene, which encodes a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase, has been shown to be associated with poor prognosis in ovarian and breast cancer. Recent studies indicate that c-erbB-2 may also be involved in determining the chemosensitivity of human cancers. In the present study, we examined the role of c-erbB-2 for chemoresistance in ovarian cancer. Overexpression of c-erbB-2 mRNA in tumor tissue was associated with a shorter survival of patients with primary ovarian cancer (P = 0.0001; n = 77) and was an independent prognostic factor in the proportional-hazard model adjusted for International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians stage, residual disease, chemotherapy, and age (P = 0.035). A significant association between expression of c-erbB-2 mRNA and survival was obtained for the subgroup of patients who received a standard chemotherapy with carboplatin or cisplatin and cyclophosphamide (P = 0.0003), whereas only a nonsignificant trend was observed for patients who did not receive a standard chemotherapy (P = 0.124). In addition, the application of a standard chemotherapy improved the survival of patients with relatively low c-erbB-2 expression (P = 0.013) but not of patients with overexpression of c-erbB-2 (P = 0.359). Expression of c-erbB-2 mRNA correlated with expression of topoisomerase IIalpha mRNA determined by a reverse semiquantitative PCR technique (P = 0.009), whereas expression of c-erbB-2 and topoisomerase IIbeta mRNA did not correlate (P = 0.221). To examine the hypothesis that coamplified and/or coregulated topoisomerase IIalpha contributes to the resistance of c-erbB-2-overexpressing carcinomas, we established a chemosensitivity assay using primary cells from an ovarian carcinoma that overexpressed both c-erbB-2 and topoisomerase IIalpha. The combination of carboplatin with nontoxic concentrations of the topoisomerase II inhibitors etoposide or novobiocin enhanced the toxicity of carboplatin. In contrast, the tyrosine kinase inhibitor emodin exhibited no chemosensitizing effect in cells of this individual carcinoma. In conclusion, overexpression of c-erbB-2 was associated with poor prognosis and poor response to chemotherapy. The data suggest that topoisomerase IIlalpha, which correlates with c-erbB-2 expression, contributes to the resistance of c-erbB-2-overexpressing carcinomas.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 July 1999
Deposited On:29 Oct 2015 13:04
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:29
Publisher:American Association for Cancer Research
ISSN:0008-5472
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
PubMed ID:10397267
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-113865

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