Association between serum ligands and the skin toxicity of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor antibody in metastatic colorectal cancer.

Research paper by Naoki N Takahashi, Yasuhide Y Yamada, Koh K Furuta, Kengo K Nagashima, Akiko A Kubo, Yusuke Y Sasaki, Hirokazu H Shoji, Yoshitaka Y Honma, Satoru S Iwasa, Natsuko N Okita, Atsuo A Takashima, Ken K Kato, Tetsuya T Hamaguchi, Yasuhiro Y Shimada

Indexed on: 25 Feb '15Published on: 25 Feb '15Published in: Cancer Science


Skin toxicity is a known clinical signature used to predict the prognosis of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibody treatment in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). There are no biological markers to predict skin toxicity before anti-EGFR antibody treatment in mCRC patients. Between August 2008 and August 2011, pretreatment serum samples were obtained from KRAS wild-type (WT) patients who received anti-EGFR antibody treatment. Serum levels of ligands were measured by ELISA. A total of 103 KRAS WT patients were enrolled in the study. Progression-free survival and overall survival of patients with a high grade (grade 2-3) of skin toxicity were significantly longer than those with a low grade (grade 0-1) of skin toxicity (median progression-free survival, 6.4 months vs 2.4 months, P < 0.001; median overall survival, 14.6 months vs 7.1 months, P = 0.006). There were significant differences in distribution of serum levels of epiregulin (EREG), amphiregulin (AREG), and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) between groups of low/high grade of skin toxicity (P < 0.048, P < 0.012, P < 0.012, respectively). In addition, serum levels of HGF, EREG, and AREG were inversely proportional to grades of skin toxicity as determined by the Cochran-Armitage test (P = 0.019, P = 0.047, P = 0.021, respectively). Our study indicated that serum levels such as HGF, EREG, and AREG may be significant markers to predict the grade of skin toxicity and the prognosis of anti-EGFR antibody treatment, which contribute to improvement of the management of skin toxicity and survival time in mCRC patients.

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