A polymorphism of EGFR extracellular domain is associated with progression free-survival in metastatic colorectal cancer patients receiving cetuximab-based treatment

Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Marseille, France.
BMC Cancer (Impact Factor: 3.36). 02/2008; 8(1):169. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-8-169
Source: PubMed


Cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody targeting Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), is currently used in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), but predictive factors for therapeutic response are lacking. Mutational status of KRAS and EGFR, and EGFR copy number are potential determinants of cetuximab activity.
We analyzed tumor tissues from 32 EGFR-positive mCRC patients receiving cetuximab/irinotecan combination and evaluable for treatment response. EGFR copy number was quantified by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). KRAS exon 1 and EGFR exons coding for extracellular regions were sequenced.
Nine patients experienced an objective response (partial response) and 23 were considered as nonresponders (12 with stable disease and 11 with progressive disease). There was no EGFR amplification found, but high polysomy was noted in 2 patients, both of which were cetuximab responders. No EGFR mutations were found but a variant of exon 13 (R521K) was observed in 12 patients, 11 of which achieved objective response or stable disease. Progression-free and overall survivals were significantly better in patients with this EGFR exon 13 variant. KRAS mutations were found in 14 cases. While there was a trend for an increased KRAS mutation frequency in nonresponder patients (12 mutations out of 23, 52%) as compared to responder patients (2 out of 9, 22%), authentic tumor response or long-term disease stabilization was found in KRAS mutated patients.
This preliminary study suggests that: an increase in EGFR copy number may be associated with cetuximab response but is a rare event in CRC, KRAS mutations are associated with low response rate but do not preclude any cetuximab-based combination efficacy and EGFR exon 13 variant (R521K) may predict for cetuximab benefit.

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Available from: Benjamin Esterni, May 01, 2014
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    • "Our data indicate a frequency of 0.21 (95% CI = 0.19 – 0.24) for the 497 K (Lys allele), and of 0.43 (95% CI = 0.40 – 0.46) for the (CA)16. These results are similar to the frequencies reported for Europeans and North-Americans (including African-Americans), either for R497K polymorphisms [19,20] or (CA)n[12,21]. Asian populations, however, appear to have higher frequencies of the Lys allele [22,23], and different patterns of (CA)n alleles [12,21,24,25]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is differently expressed in breast cancer, and its presence may favor cancer progression. We hypothesized that two EGFR functional polymorphisms, a (CA)n repeat in intron 1, and a single nucleotide polymorphism, R497K, may affect EGFR expression and breast cancer clinical profile. The study population consisted of 508 Brazilian women with unilateral breast cancer, and no distant metastases. Patients were genotyped for the (CA)n and R497K polymorphisms, and the associations between (CA)n polymorphism and EGFR transcript levels (n = 129), or between either polymorphism and histopathological features (n = 505) were evaluated. The REMARK criteria of tumor marker evaluation were followed. (CA)n lengths ranged from 14 to 24 repeats, comprehending 11 alleles and 37 genotypes. The most frequent allele was (CA)16 (0.43; 95%CI = 0.40-0.46), which was set as the cut-off length to define the Short allele. Variant (CA)n genotypes had no significant effect in tumoral EGFR mRNA levels, but patients with two (CA)n Long alleles showed lower chances of being negative for progesterone receptor (ORadjusted = 0.42; 95%CI = 0.19-0.91). The evaluation of R497K polymorphism indicated a frequency of 0.21 (95%CI = 0.19 - 0.24) for the variant (Lys) allele. Patients with variant R497K genotypes presented lower proportion of worse lymph node status (pN2 or pN3) when compared to the reference genotype Arg/Arg (ORadjusted = 0.32; 95%CI = 0.17-0.59), which resulted in lower tumor staging (ORadjusted = 0.34; 95%CI = 0.19-0.63), and lower estimated recurrence risk (OR = 0.50; 95%CI = 0.30-0.81). The combined presence of both EGFR polymorphisms (Lys allele of R497K and Long/Long (CA)n) resulted in lower TNM status (ORadjusted = 0.22; 95%CI = 0.07-0.75) and lower ERR (OR = 0.25; 95%CI = 0.09-0.71). When tumors were stratified according to biological classification, the favorable effects of variant EGFR polymorphisms were preserved for luminal A tumors, but not for other subtypes. The data suggest that the presence of the variant forms of EGFR polymorphisms may lead to better prognosis in breast cancer, especially in patients with luminal A tumors.
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    • "In CRC, there are a number of studies that highlighted the association between G/A or A/A and decreased tumor recurrence, lower probability of subsequent metastasis and longer survival in post-surgery CRC patients. The R521K polymorphism of EGFR was also associated with better response and survival in CRC patients treated with 5-FU and oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy, Cetuximab as single agent or in combination with irinotecan and with FOLFOX-4.[22252732–36] "
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    • "Most of them were retrospective studies, with sample sizes varying from 27 to 155. Three studies were conducted in KRAS wild-type patients only [16,31,32], and another eight studies reported the data on KRAS wild-type and mutant patients separately [14,18,19,22,24-26,28], providing us the opportunity to examine the impact of KRAS status on the predictive power of GCN+. The anti-EGFR MAb administered, the response criteria, and the assay for EGFR GCN quantification were generally consistent across different studies. "
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    ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor receptor gene copy number (EGFR GCN) has been heavily investigated as a potential predictive biomarker for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). The objective of this study was to systematically review current evidences on this issue. PubMed, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, Wanfang Data, and the conference abstracts of American Society of Clinical Oncology and European Society of Medical Oncology were comprehensively searched. Studies that reported the objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival, and/or overall survival of mCRC patients treated with anti-EGFR MAbs, stratified by EGFR GCN status, were included. The effect measures for binary outcome (response) and time-to-event outcomes (progression-free survival and overall survival) were risk difference and hazard ratio, respectively. Statistical heterogeneity among the studies was assessed by the Cochran's Q-test and the I2 statistic. If appropriate, a quantitative synthesis of data from different studies would be conducted with a random-effects model. Nineteen eligible studies were identified. The criteria for increased EGFR GCN (GCN+) were highly inconsistent across different studies. The prevalence of GCN + ranged from 6.9% to 88.9%, and the difference in ORR between patients with GCN + and those with non-increased EGFR GCN (GCN-) varied from -28% to 84%. Because of the significant heterogeneity, no quantitative synthesis of data was performed. There was a general trend towards higher ORR in patients with GCN+. The difference in ORRs between patients with GCN + and those with GCN- was even greater in KRAS wild-type patients, while in KRAS mutated patients the difference often did not exist. Almost all patients with EGFR amplification responded to the treatment. However, the prevalence of EGFR amplification was generally low. Incomplete data on progression-free survival and overall survival seemingly supported the findings on ORR. Although increased EGFR GCN is generally associated with a better outcome of anti-EGFR MAbs treatment, especially among patients with wild-type KRAS, the clinical utility of this biomarker for selecting recipients of anti-EGFR MAbs would be severely limited by the heterogeneous scoring system and the poor reproducibility of EGFR GCN enumeration due to technical reasons.
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