Fc gamma receptor polymorphisms as predictive markers of Cetuximab efficacy in epidermal growth factor receptor downstream-mutated metastatic colorectal cancer

Eur J Cancer. 2012 Aug;48(12):1774-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2012.01.007. Epub 2012 Feb 2.


Background: The immunoglobulin G1 (IgG(1)) monoclonal antibody (MoAb) Cetuximab is active in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) as first or subsequent lines of therapy. Efficacy seems restricted to KRAS wild-type tumours. IgG(1) may also induce antibody dependent cell mediated citotoxicity (ADCC) by recruitment of immune effector cells. ADCC is influenced by Fc gamma receptor (FcγR) polymorphisms. We investigated the association of FcγR polymorphisms and disease control rate (DCR) in mCRC patients treated with chemotherapy plus Cetuximab.

Patients and methods: Tumour tissues from 106 patients were screened for KRAS codon 12 and 13 mutations using a sensitive multiplex assay (DxS, Manchester, United Kingdom). NRAS (codons: 12, 13 and 61), PI3K (exon 20) and BRAF (exon 15) were analysed by direct sequencing. Fcγ RIIa and Fcγ RIIIa polymorphisms were genotyped by TaqMan assays.

Results: DCR was significantly higher in KRAS wild-type tumours (61% versus 39%, p = 0.049). In epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) downstream-mutated mCRC patients, those harbouring an FcγRIIa H/H genotype had a higher DCR than alternative genotypes (67% versus 33%, p = 0.017). By multivariate analysis, FcγRIIa-131H/H remained significantly correlated with DCR (p = 0.008).

Conclusion: FcγR polymorphisms may play a role in the clinical efficacy of Cetuximab in EGFR downstream mutated mCRC patients. Further research into Cetuximab immune-based mechanisms in KRAS-mutated patients seems warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Cetuximab
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Receptors, IgG / genetics*
  • ras Proteins / genetics


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Fc gamma receptor IIA
  • KRAS protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, IgG
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • ras Proteins
  • Cetuximab