Background: The FAST was a factorial trial in first-line treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), addressing the role of replacing cisplatin with a non-platinum agent. The prognostic and predictive effect of ERCC1/BRCA1 expression and ERCC1/XPD/XRCC1-3 gene polymorphisms on outcomes of patients was examined.
Methods: Patients were randomised to receive treatment with or without cisplatin. ERCC1/BRCA1 expression was determined by immunohistochemistry. ERCC1 (C8092A, C118T), XPD (Lys751Gln), XRCC1 (Arg399Gln) and XRCC3 (Thr241Met) gene polymorphisms were evaluated on tumour DNA by TaqMan allelic discrimination assay.
Results: Tumour samples were available from 110 of 433 patients enrolled: 54.7% were ERCC1 positive and 51.4% were BRCA1 positive. Overall, ERCC1-negative patients had better response rate (P=0.004), progression-free survival (P=0.023) and overall survival (P=0.012) compared with positive ones, with no statistically significant treatment interaction. The BRCA1-positive patients showed numerically better outcomes, although not statistically significant, with no treatment interaction. Among DNA repair gene polymorphisms, only XRCC1 Gln/Gln genotype evidenced a potential prognostic role (P=0.036).
Conclusion: This study confirms the prognostic role of ERCC1 expression and XRCC1 (Arg399Gln) polymorphism in advanced NSCLC treated with first-line chemotherapy. None of these biomarkers was shown to be a specific predictive factor of cisplatin efficacy.