Lack of Bax expression is associated with irinotecan-based treatment activity in advanced colorectal cancer patients

F. Pietrantonio, P. Biondani, M. Milione, F. Melotti, G. Bertarelli, F. Perrone, F. De Braud, L. Mariani, G. Fanetti, D. Cortinovis, M. Di Bartolomeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Currently, first-line chemotherapy in advanced colorectal cancer is not tailored on predictive biomarkers. Bax proapoptotic protein may correlate to chemosensitivity and differential response to irinotecan or oxaliplatin-based combinations. Methods: Bax expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 49 advanced colorectal cancer patients enrolled at our institution from 2002 to 2004 within a multicenter, phase II, randomized trial of first-line UFT/leucovorin/irinotecan (TEGAFIRI) versus UFT/leucovorin/ oxaliplatin (TEGAFOX). Results: Bax-positive and negative samples were 49 and 51 %. Response was significantly lower in Bax positive (25 %) as compared to Bax negative (56 %) (Odds ratio = 0.26; p = 0.03). No significant difference was noted in TEGAFOX subgroup; in TEGAFIRI arm, responses were lower in Bax positive (18 %) than Bax negative (67 %) (Odds ratio = 0.11; p = 0.03). No difference in terms of progression-free and overall survival was observed according to Bax. Conclusion: Bax-negative colorectal cancer may identify a specific phenotype of patients with significantly higher chance to respond to doublet irinotecan-based chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-586
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Translational Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013



  • Bax
  • Biomarkers
  • Chemotherapy
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Irinotecan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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