Predictive implications of nucleoside metabolizing enzymes in premenopausal women with node-positive primary breast cancer who were randomly assigned to receive tamoxifen alone or tamoxifen plus tegafur-uracil as adjuvant therapy

Masakazu Toi, Tadashi Ikeda, Futoshi Akiyama, Masafumi Kurosumi, Hitoshi Tsuda, Goi Sakamoto, Osahiko Abe

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    Recent studies have demonstrated that tegafur-uracil (UFT) is useful for the adjuvant treatment of various types of cancers. To determine whether nucleoside metabolizing enzymes could be used to predict the response to UFT treatment in women with primary breast cancer, we retrospectively analyzed archived tumor tissue samples obtained from the 3rd Adjuvant Chemo-Endocrine Therapy for Breast Cancer (ACETBC) study, in which adjuvant treatment with tamoxifen (TAM) plus UFT for 2 years was compared with TAM alone for 2 years. Samples of tumor tissue were obtained from 192 premenopausal women with node-positive invasive breast cancer. The tissue samples were examined immunohistochemically to study the expression of thymidylate synthase (TS), thymidine phosphorylase (TP), and dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), as well as the expression of HER2 and p53. In patients with TS-positive tumors, the risk of relapse was significantly lower in the tamoxifen plus UFT group than in the tamoxifen alone group. After 2 years, however, there was a trend towards a decrease in the relative predictive value (RPV) of TS with time. No relationship to outcome was detected for TP or DPD. Expression of HER2 or p53 was a significant prognostic indicator in the tamoxifen alone group. TS, but not TP or DPD, may be a useful predictor of response to UFT therapy. After 2 years, the RPV of TS decreased with time, suggesting that 2 years of treatment with oral fluorouracil derivatives may be inadequate. Further studies are required to investigate this possibility.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)899-906
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational journal of oncology
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2007



    • Breast cancer
    • Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase
    • Predictive factor
    • Tegafur-uracil
    • Thymidine phosphorylase
    • Thymidylate synthase

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research

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