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Radiation Oncology

, 6:161

First Online: 18 November 2011Received: 28 July 2011Accepted: 18 November 2011


BackgroundNeoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy is the treatment of choice in advanced rectal cancer, even though there are many patients who will not benefit from it. There are still no effective methods for predicting which patients will respond or not. The present study aimed to define the genomic profile of rectal tumors and to identify alterations that are predictive of response in order to optimize therapeutic strategies.

MethodsForty-eight candidates for neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy were recruited and their pretherapy biopsies analyzed by array Comparative Genomic Hybridization aCGH. Pathologic response was evaluated by tumor regression grade.

ResultsBoth Hidden Markov Model and Smoothing approaches identified similar alterations, with a prevalence of DNA gains. Non responsive patients had a different alteration profile from responsive ones, with a higher number of genome changes mainly located on 2q21, 3q29, 7p22-21, 7q21, 7q36, 8q23-24, 10p14-13, 13q12, 13q31-34, 16p13, 17p13-12 and 18q23 chromosomal regions.

ConclusionsThis exploratory study suggests that an in depth characterization of chromosomal alterations by aCGH would provide useful predictive information on response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and could help to optimize therapy in rectal cancer patients.

The data discussed in this study are available on the NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus GEO: GSE25885.

KeywordsGenomic alterations rectal cancer neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy ArrayCGH List of abbreviationsNCRTneoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy

aCGHarray comparative genomic hybridization

TRGtumor regression grade

HMMHidden Markov Model

FGAfraction of genome altered.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1748-717X-6-161 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Chiara Molinari - Michela Ballardini - Nazario Teodorani - Massimo Giannini - Wainer Zoli - Ermanno Emiliani - Enrico Lucci


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