Multifactorial pharmacogenetic analysis in colorectal cancer patients receiving 5-fluorouracil-based therapy together with cetuximab-irinotecan

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2012 May;73(5):776-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2011.04141.x.


Aim: To examine the predictive value of gene polymorphisms potentially linked to toxicity, clinical response, time to progression and overall survival, following cetuximab-tegafur-uracil (UFT)-irinotecan therapy.

Methods: Fifty-two patients with advanced colorectal cancer were enrolled in an ancillary pharmacogenetic study of the phase II CETUFTIRI trial. Treatment consisted of 21 day cycles of cetuximab (day 1-day 8-day 15, 250 mg m(-2) week(-1) following a 400 mg m(-2) initial dose) together with irinotecan (day 1, 250 mg m(-2)) and UFT-folinic acid (days 1-14, 250 mg m(-2) day(-1) UFT, 90 mg day(-1) folinic acid). Analysed gene polymorphisms (blood DNA) were as follows: EGFR (CA repeats in intron 1, -216G>T, -191C>A), EGF (61A>G), FCGR2A (131Arg>His), FCGR3A (158Phe>Val), UDP-glycosyltransferase1-polypeptide A1 (TA repeats), TYMS (28 bp repeats, including the G>C mutation on the 3R allele, 6 bp deletion in 3' UTR) and MTHFR (677C>T, 1298A>C).

Results: Maximum toxicity grade was linked to EGFR-191C>A polymorphism, with 71.1% grade 3-4 toxicity in CC patients vs. 28.6% in other patients (P= 0.010). A tendency to a better response was observed in patients bearing the TYMS 3RG allele (P= 0.029) and those bearing the FCGR3A 158Val genotype (P= 0.020). The greater the score of favourable TYMS and FCGR3A genotypes, the better the response rate (P= 0.009) and the longer the overall survival (P= 0.007). In multivariate analysis, the score of favourable genotypes was a stronger survival predictor than the performance status.

Conclusions: Present data suggest the importance of FCGR3A 158Phe>Val and TYMS 5' UTR polymorphisms in responsiveness and survival of patients receiving cetuximab-fluoropyrimidine-based therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Camptothecin / administration & dosage
  • Camptothecin / analogs & derivatives
  • Cetuximab
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Irinotecan
  • Male
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2) / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thymidylate Synthase / genetics


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Irinotecan
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2)
  • Thymidylate Synthase
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Cetuximab
  • Fluorouracil
  • Camptothecin