Clinicopathological correlates and prognostic significance of glutathione S-transferase Pi expression in 468 patients after potentially curative resection of node-positive colonic cancer

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This study investigated the association between glutathione S-transferase Pi (GST Pi) expression, histopathology and overall survival in 468 patients after resection of stage C colonic adenocarcinoma.

Methods and results:

Data were drawn from a prospective hospital registry of consecutive bowel cancer resections with a minimum follow-up of 5 years. Nuclear and cytoplasmic GST Pi expression, assessed by both intensity of staining and percentage of stained cells at both the central part of the tumour and the invasive tumour front, were evaluated retrospectively by tissue microarray immunohistochemistry on archival specimens. The most effective measure of GST Pi expression was the percentage of immunostained nuclei in central tumour tissue, where >40% stained was associated significantly with high grade, invasion beyond the muscularis propria, involvement of a free serosal surface or apical node, and invasion into an adjacent organ or structure. After adjustment of other predictors, GST Pi expression remained independently prognostic for reduced overall survival (hazard ratio 1.4, P = 0.002).


In patients with clinicopathological stage C colonic cancer, GST Pi expression is associated with features of tumour aggressiveness and with reduced overall survival. Further appropriately designed studies should aim to discover whether GST Pi can predict response to adjuvant chemotherapy.

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