Background: An adequate management strategy for ampullary carcinoma (AC), a rare neoplasm, has yet to be determined. The aim of this study was to identify specific molecular markers allowing for the adequate management of AC. Methods: The clinicopathological data of 41 patients who underwent curative resection of AC were reviewed retrospectively. The expression of thymidylate synthase (TS) and Bcl-2 19-kDa interacting protein 3 (BNIP3), two sensitive markers for S-1 and gemcitabine, respectively, was evaluated immunohistochemically. The relationship between the expression levels of these markers and the clinicopathological data were then investigated. Results: The 5-year overall survival rate in the study population was 62%. In univariate and multivariate analyses, lymph node metastasis, neural invasion, lymphatic invasion, and the high-level BNIP3 expression were significant predictive factors for a poor postoperative prognosis. Neither TS nor BNIP3 expression were able to predict survival or the disease recurrence rate in patients who received postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy for AC. Conclusions: BNIP3 expression may serve as a prognostic marker for patients with AC, but neither TS nor BNIP3 contributes to the selection criteria for adjuvant chemotherapy for AC, at least with respect to current drug regimens.
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