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Khambata-Ford Shirin , Garrett Christopher R , Meropol Neal J , Basik Mark , Harbison Christopher T , Wu Shujian , Wong Tai W , Huang Xin , Takimoto Chris H , Godwin Andrew K , Tan Benjamin R , Krishnamurthi Smitha S , Burris Howard A III , Poplin Elizabeth A , Hidalgo Manuel , Baselga Jose , Clark Edwin A , Mauro David J
Expression of Epiregulin and Amphiregulin and K-ras Mutation Status Predict Disease Control in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Patients Treated With Cetuximab
J Clin Oncol. 2007 August 1, 2007;25(22) :3230-3237
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PurposeThe antiepidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibody cetuximab shows activity in multiple epithelial tumor types; however, responses are seen in only a subset of patients. This study was conducted to identify markers that are associated with disease control in patients treated with cetuximab. Patients and MethodsOne hundred ten patients with metastatic colorectal cancer were enrolled onto a cetuximab monotherapy trial. Transcriptional profiling was conducted on RNA from mandatory pretreatment metastatic biopsies to identify genes whose expression correlates with best clinical responses. EGFR and K-ras mutation analyses and EGFR gene copy number analyses were performed on DNA from pretreatment biopsies. ResultsGene expression profiles showed that patients with tumors that express high levels of the EGFR ligands epiregulin and amphiregulin are more likely to have disease control with cetuximab (EREG, P = .000015; AREG, P = .000025). Additionally, patients whose tumors do not have K-ras mutations have a significantly higher disease control rate than patients with K-ras mutations (P = .0003). Furthermore, patients with tumors that have high expression of EREG or AREG also have significantly longer progression-free survival (PFS) than patients with low expression (EREG: P = .0002, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.47, and median PFS, 103.5 v 57 days, respectively; AREG: P < .0001, HR = 0.44, and median PFS, 115.5 v 57 days, respectively). ConclusionPatients with tumors that have high gene expression levels of epiregulin and amphiregulin and patients with wild-type K-ras are more likely to have disease control on cetuximab treatment. The identified markers could be developed further to select patients for cetuximab therapy.