In Vitro Adenosine Triphosphate-Based Chemotherapy Response Assay as a Predictor of Clinical Response to Fluorouracil-Based Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Stage II Colorectal Cancer

Hye Youn Kwon, Im-Kyung Kim, Jeonghyun Kang, Seung-Kook Sohn, Kang Young Lee


Purpose: We evaluated the usefulness of the in vitro adenosine triphosphate-based chemotherapy response assay (ATP-CRA) for prediction of clinical response to fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy in stage II colorectal cancer.

Materials and methods: Tumor specimens of 86 patients with pathologically confirmed stage II colorectal adenocarcinoma were tested for chemosensitivity to fluorouracil. Chemosensitivity was determined by cell death rate (CDR) of drug-exposed cells, calculated by comparing the intracellular ATP level with that of untreated controls.

Results: Among the 86 enrolled patients who underwent radical surgery followed by fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy, recurrence was found in 11 patients (12.7%). The CDR ≥ 20% group was associated with better disease-free survival than the CDR < 20% group (89.4% vs. 70.1%, p=0.027). Multivariate analysis showed that CDR < 20% and T4 stage were poor prognostic factors for disease-free survival after fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy.

Conclusion: In stage II colorectal cancer, the in vitro ATP-CRA may be useful in identifying patients likely to benefit from fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy.

Keywords: Adjuvant chemotherapy; Antitumor drug screening assays; Colorectal neoplasms.