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GSTT1, GSTM1, and GSTP1 polymorphisms as a prognostic factor in women with breast cancer

Author(s): A.L. Oliveira, F.F. Oliveira Rodrigues, R.E. dos Santos, R.L. Rozenowicz and M. Barbosa de Melo

The glutathione S-transferase (GST) family comprises phase-II cellular detoxification enzymes that catalyze the conjugation of chemotherapy drugs to glutathione and act on the apoptotic pathway. The aim of this study was to determine whether polymorphisms of the GSTT1, GSTM1, and GSTP1 genes are associated with different rates of overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in the management of locally advanced breast cancer, using either simple or combined analyses, and in relation to the post-therapy axillary lymph node status. Forty women with invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast submitted to neoadjuvant chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide were genotyped for GSTT1, GSTM1, and GSTP1. Comparisons were performed for the three genes, either isolated or in pairs, in polymorphic or wild-type combinations. Finally, the OS and DFS of patients were analyzed with respect to axillary lymph node status and with respect to wild-type or polymorphic presentations of each gene. No statistically significant difference in OS and DFS was evident between women with wild-type or polymorphic forms of the genes, either isolated or in pairs, after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. By contrast, after treatment, lymph node-negative women had better OS and DFS only in the presence of polymorphisms of GSTP1, and improved DFS only in the presence of the polymorphic types of GSTT1 and GSTM1 compared to women with positive lymph nodes. The presence of polymorphic forms of GSTP1, GSTM1, and GSTT1 was crucial to conferring better OS and DFS among women with negative axillary lymph nodes.