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A novel LARCassigner3 classification predicts outcomes in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy: a retrospective training and validation analysis

Authors Zhang J, Shen L, Deng Y, Sun X, Wang Y, Yao Y, Zhang H, Zou W, Zhang Z, Wan J, Yang L, Zhu J, Zhang Z

Received 1 December 2018

Accepted for publication 19 March 2019

Published 7 May 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 4153—4170


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chien-Feng Li

Jing Zhang,1,2,* Lijun Shen,1,2,* Yun Deng,1,2 Xiaoyang Sun,1,2 Yaqi Wang,1,2 Ye Yao,1,2 Hui Zhang,1,2 Wei Zou,1,2 Zhiyuan Zhang,1,2 Juefeng Wan,1,2 Lifeng Yang,1,2 Ji Zhu,1,2 Zhen Zhang1,2

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai 200032, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: To build and validate a predictive model of outcome for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy.
Materials and methods: We developed a LARCassigner3 classifier based on tumor and paired normal tissues of patients treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiation and surgery from January 2007 to December 2012 in Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center. Excluding 23 pairs of tissues failed in the RNA quality test, rested 197 patients were divided into discovery (n=98) and validation (n=99) cohorts randomly. Median follow-up time was 58 months. We used the Kaplan–Meier method to estimate disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS), local recurrent, and distant metastatic rate We constructed a multivariate Cox model to identify the variables independently associated with progression-free and OS.
Results: We identified three classifier genes related to relevant colorectal cancer features (CXCL9, SFRP2, and CD44) that formed the LARCassigner3 classifier assay. In the discovery set, the median DFS was 48.1 months (95% confidence interval (CI) 47.3–49.5) in the low-risk group and 23.4 months (95% CI 22.1–24.8) in the high-risk group (p=0.0134); the median OS was 39.2 months (95% CI 38.4–40.3) in the high-risk group and 19.1 months (95% CI 18.3–20.7) in the low-risk group (p=0.0134); 5-year distant metastasis was 13.9% (95% CI 9.0–21.3) in the low-risk group and 49.8% (95% CI 38.7–60.9) in the high-risk group (p=0.0072). Additionally, the different responses to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and the LARCassigner3 low-risk and high-risk groups was statistically significant (p=0.004) in the discovery cohort. Similar results were obtained in the internal evaluation cohort.
Conclusions: Patients with LARCassigner3 low-risk tumors were associated with a good prognosis. The clinical utility of using LARCassigner3 subtyping for the identification of patients for neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy requires validation in dependent clinical trial cohorts.

Keywords: prognostic marker, locally advanced rectal cancer, neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy

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