To determine whether p21-activated Kinase (PAK) 6 is a prognostic and predictive marker in gastric cancer (GC) and to construct a classifier that can identify a subset of patients who are highly sensitive to 5-fluorouracil/oxaliplatin chemotherapy. We retrospectively analyzed the expression levels of PAK6, cyclooxygenase 2, p21WAF1, Ki-67, excision repair cross-complementing gene 1, and thymidylate synthase in 242 paraffin-embedded GC specimens of the training cohort by immunohistochemistry. Then, we used support vector machine (SVM)-based methods to develop a predictive classifier for chemotherapy (chemotherapy score - CS-SVM classifier). Further validation was performed in an independent cohort of 279 patients. High PAK6 expression was associated with poor prognosis and increased chemoresistance to 5-FU/oxaliplatin chemotherapy. The CS-SVM classifier distinguished patients with stage II and III GC into low- and high-CS-SVM groups, with significant differences in the 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in chemotherapy patients. Moreover, chemotherapy significantly prolonged the DFS and OS of the high CS-SVM patients in the training and validation cohorts. In conclusion, PAK6 was an independent prognostic factor and increased chemoresistance. The CS-SVM classifier distinguished a subgroup of stage II and III patients who would highly benefit from chemotherapy, thus facilitating patient counseling and individualizing the management.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published