Sensitivity of Gastric Cancer Cells to Chemotherapy Drugs in Elderly Patients and Its Correlation with Cyclooxygenase-2 Expression

  • Qiu, Zhen-Qin (Unified Supply Center, The 89th Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army) ;
  • Qiu, Zhen-Rong (Pharmacy Department, The 89th Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army)
  • Published : 2015.04.29


Objective: To explore the sensitivity of gastric cancer cells to chemotherapy drugs in elderly patients and its correlation with cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in cancer tissue. Materials and Methods: Forty-three elderly patients with gastric cancer (observation group) and 31 young patients with gastrointestinal tumors (control group) who were all diagnosed by pathology and underwent surgery in the 89th Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army were selected. Drug sensitivity testing of tumor cells in primary culture was carried out in both groups using a methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) method, and the expression of COX-2 and the factors related to multi-drug resistance (MDR) in cancer tissue were assessed by immunohistochemistry. Results: The inhibition rates (IR) of vincristine (VCR), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), oxaliplatin (L-OHP), mitomycin (MMC) and epirubicin (eADM) on tumor cells in the observation group were dramatically lower than in the control group, with statistical significance (P<0.05 or P<0.01). The positive rates of COX-2, glutathione s-transferase-${\pi}$ (GST-${\pi}$) and P glycoprotein (P-gp) expression in cancer tissue in the observation group were all higher than in control group (P<0.05), while that of DNA topoisomerase $II{\alpha}$ ($TopoII{\alpha}$) expression lower than in the control group (P<0.01). In the observation group, COX-2 expression in cancer tissue had a significantly-positive correlation with GST-${\pi}$ and P-gp (r=0.855, P=0.000; r=0.240, P=0.026), but a negative correlation with $TopoII{\alpha}$ (r=-0.328, P=0.002). In the control group, COX-2 expression in cancer tissue was only correlated with P-gp positively (r=0.320, P=0.011). Bivariate correlation analysis displayed that COX-2 expression in cancer tissue in the observation group had a significantly-negative correlation with the IRs of 5-FU, L-OHP, paclitaxel (PTX) and eADM in tumor cells (r=-0.723, P=0.000; r=-0.570, P=0.000; r=-0.919, P=0.000; r=-0.781, P=0.000), but with hydroxycamptothecine (HCPT), VCR and 5-FU in the control group (r=-0.915, P=0.000; r=-0.890, P=0.000; r=-0.949, P=0.000). Conclusions: Gastric cancer cells in elderly patients feature stronger MDR, which may be related to high COX-2 expression.


Gastric cancer;chemotherapy drugs;cyclooxygenase-2;glutathione s-transferase-${\pi}$;P glycoprotein


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