Gemcitabine (GEM) is the standard treatment for advanced/metastatic pancreatic cancer. However, there is a substantial subset of patients in whom the efficacy of GEM, when used as a single agent, is inadequate. Recently, the 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) prodrugs capecitabine and S-1 have been used as an alternative, either alone or in combination with GEM. The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression pattern of genes that render pancreatic cancer cells sensitive to GEM and 5-FU, and to identify markers for individualized chemotherapy, even in patients who have developed resistance. We investigated the correlation between the expression of genes associated with the metabolism of GEM and 5-FU, and sensitivity to these drugs in 15 human pancreatic cancer cell lines. We also established GEM- and 5-FU-resistant pancreatic cancer cell lines to investigate changes in the expression levels of these genes and the effects of one drug on cells resistant to the other. We found no correlation between pancreatic cancer cell sensitivity to either GEM- or 5-FU. GEM-resistant cells did not become resistant to 5-FU and vice versa. High expression of RRM1 (P=0.048) and TS x DPD (P=0.035) correlated significantly with sensitivity to GEM and 5-FU, respectively. 5-FU-resistant cells expressed significantly higher levels of TP than parental cells (P<0.05). In conclusion, pancreatic cancer cells showed no cross-resistance to GEM and 5-FU. Quantitative analyses of RRM1, TP, DPD and TS mRNA levels in pancreatic cancer cells may be useful for predicting their sensitivity to GEM and 5-FU.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research