Radiation-Induced Apoptosis of Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes is Correlated with Histological Regression of Rectal Cancer in Response to Preoperative Chemoradiotherapy
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The response of rectal cancer to preoperative chemoradiotherapy (PRT) varies widely among patients, and predictors of the response remain to be elucidated. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether radiation-induced apoptosis (RIA) of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) reflects the underlying intrinsic radiosensitivity of rectal cancer.
Forty-one patients with clinical T3-4, M0 low rectal cancers, treated with PRT and curative surgery, were retrospectively studied. PBLs were obtained from blood samples of the patients, irradiated at 0, 2, 8, and 16 Gy in vitro, and analyzed for RIA by flow cytometry using Annexin V (AV) and propidium iodide (PI). The correlation of the RIA of PBLs and histological regression of rectal cancer in response to PRT was examined.
Both the proportions of AV+/PI− PBLs (early apoptosis) and AV+/PI + PBLs (late apoptosis) were significantly higher in patients with high histological regression than in those with low histological regression. Age, sex, tumor size, and clinical T and N stages did not affect the RIA of PBLs.
This study showed that the RIA of PBLs is correlated with the histological regression of rectal cancer in response to PRT and suggested that the radiosensitivity of rectal cancer might be estimated by the RIA of PBLs.
KeywordsRectal Cancer Propidium Iodide Rectal Cancer Patient Blood Sample Collection Complete RPMI Medium
The authors greatly thank Ms. Junko Tamura for her excellent laboratory work.
Conflict of Interests
There are no personal conflicts of interest, nor sources of outside support for research.