Along with their role in the maintenance of nuclear architecture, nuclear lamins also control genomic stability, DNA damage repair, transcription, cell proliferation, differentiation and senescence. Recent reports reveal that prelamin A-processing defects play a role in cancer development by impacting on transcription of key players in the maintenance of the genome stability, including RAD51. Here, we performed a 'proof of concept' study evaluating the role of prelamin A and RAD51 expression in clinical outcome of cervical cancer patients. We analyzed biomarker expression by immunohistochemistry in tumor material from locally advanced cervical cancer (LACC) patients (n=66) and correlated data with clinicopathological parameters and with response to neoadjuvant chemoradiation (CT/RT). In LACC patients who underwent neoadjuvant CT/RT the percentage of cases showing high prelamin A levels was greater in patients who completely responded to treatment (25 of 40, 62.5%) than in patients with macroscopic residual tumor (6 of 26, 23.1%, p=0.0024). Conversely, patients showing high RAD51 expression were less likely to respond to treatment (14 of 26, 53.8%) than were those with low protein levels (12 of 40, 30%, p=0.072). Only prelamin A retained an independent role in predicting response to treatment (p=0.003), while RAD51 approached statistical significance (p=0.07). Notably, high RAD51 expression highly significantly predicted poor outcome, emerging as an independent prognostic factor for disease free survival (p=0.038), while approaching statistical significance for overall survival (p=0.09). Our findings provide a framework for future prospective studies investigating molecular predictors of response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in LACC patients.
- DNA repair
- Lamin A/C