Article Abstract

Low ATM expression and progression-free and overall survival in advanced gastric cancer patients treated with first-line XELOX chemotherapy

Authors: Samuel J. Klempner, Munveer S. Bhangoo, Hubert Y. Luu, Seung Tae Kim, Joseph Chao, Kyoung-Mee Kim, Jeeyun Lee


Background: Gastric cancer (GC) is a leading cause of cancer-specific mortality with limited biologically informed treatments. The ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene is critically involved in the repair of double-stranded DNA breaks and a component of DNA damage repair (DDR) pathways. Platinum salts are hypothesized to have increased efficacy in tumors deficient in DDR pathways. We sought to investigate an association between ATM status and response to XELOX in a homogenous first line GC patient cohort.
Methods: A clinically annotated cohort of 137 Korean patients with advanced GC treated with first-line XELOX was retrospectively examined for ATM status by immunohistochemistry. Correlation between ATM expression and clinicopathologic variables was performed by two-tailed, unpaired t-tests and Fisher’s exact tests. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis curves and Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate for independent predictors of disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS).
Results: Low ATM expression was observed in 19.0% (26/137) of patients and was not associated with clinicopathologic features or response rate to XELOX. Univariate, but not multivariable, logistic regression and Cox analysis identified ATM as an independent risk factor influencing OS and DFS. A higher ECOG score independently predicted worse survival [hazard ratio (HR) 2.96, P=0.016] and complete surgical resection independently protected against progression of disease (HR 0.69, P=0.007).
Conclusions: Low ATM expression was not associated with increased response rates to XELOX in a single-institution cohort of advanced GC patients. Similarly, ATM status did not predict DFS or OS after platinum-based chemotherapy.