In the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway, polymorphisms in EGFR and its ligand EGF have been studied as biomarkers for anti-EGFR treatment. However, the potential pharmacogenetic role of other EGFR ligands such as amphiregulin (AREG) and epiregulin (EREG) has not been elucidated. We studied 74 KRAS and BRAF wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with anti-EGFR plus irinotecan. Twenty-two genetic variants in EGFR, EGF, AREG and EREG genes were selected using HapMap database and literature resources. Three tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the AREG gene region (rs11942466 C>A, rs13104811 A>G, and rs9996584 C>T) predicted disease control in the multivariate analyses. AREG rs11942466 C>A and rs9996584 C>T were also associated with overall survival (OS). The functional polymorphism, EGFR rs712829 G>T, was associated with progression-free and OS. Our findings support that intergenic polymorphisms in the AREG gene region might help to identify colorectal cancer patients that will benefit from irinotecan plus anti-EGFR therapy. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
- colorectal cancer
- EGFR pathway