Background: The impact of thymidylate synthase (TYMS) and UDP-glucoronosyltransferase 1A (UGT1A) germline polymorphisms on the outcome of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients treated with irinotecan plus 5-fluorouracil (irinotecan/5FU) is still controversial. Our objective was to define a genetic-based algorithm to select patients to be treated with irinotecan/5FU.
Methods: Genotyping of TYMS (5'TRP and 3'UTR), UGT1A1(*)28, UGT1A9(*)22 and UGT1A7(*)3 was performed in 149 metastatic CRC patients treated with irinotecan/5FU as first-line chemotherapy enrolled in a randomised phase 3 study. Their association with response, toxicity and survival was investigated by univariate and multivariate statistical analysis.
Results: TYMS 3TRP/3TRP genotype was the only independent predictor of tumour response (OR=5.87, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.68-20.45; P=0.005). UGT1A1(*)28/(*)28 was predictive for haematologic toxicity (OR=6.27, 95% CI=1.09-36.12; P=0.04), specifically for neutropenia alone (OR=6.40, 95% CI=1.11-37.03; P=0.038) or together with diarrhoea (OR=18.87, 95% CI=2.14-166.67; P=0.008). UGT1A9(*)1/(*)1 was associated with non-haematologic toxicity (OR=2.70, 95% CI=1.07-6.82; P=0.035). Haplotype VII (all non-favourable alleles) was associated with non-haematologic toxicity (OR=2.11, 95% CI=1.12-3.98; P=0.02).
Conclusion: TYMS and UGT1A polymorphisms influence on tumour response and toxicities derived from irinotecan/5FU treatment in CRC patients. A genetic-based algorithm to optimise treatment individualisation is proposed.