Research Papers:

Genetic polymorphisms and response to 5-fluorouracil, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide chemotherapy in breast cancer patients

Karolina Tecza, Jolanta Pamula-Pilat, Joanna Lanuszewska and Ewa Grzybowska _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:66790-66808. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11053

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Karolina Tecza1, Jolanta Pamula-Pilat1, Joanna Lanuszewska1, Ewa Grzybowska1

1Center for Translational Research and Molecular Biology of Cancer, Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology, Gliwice Branch, Warsaw, Poland

Correspondence to:

Ewa Grzybowska, email: [email protected]

Keywords: breast cancer, FAC, chemotherapy, polymorphism, treatment response

Received: February 10, 2016    Accepted: July 18, 2016    Published: August 4, 2016


Clinical resistance to chemotherapy is one of the major problems in breast cancer treatment. In this study we analyzed possible impact of 22 polymorphic variants on the treatment response in 324 breast cancer patients. Selected genes were involved in FAC chemotherapy drugs transport (ABCB1, ABCC2, ABCG2, SLC22A16), metabolism (CYP1B1, CYP2C19, GSTT1, GSTM1, GSTP1, TYMS, MTHFR, DPYD), drug-induced damage repair (ERCC1, ERCC2, XRCC1) and involved in regulation of DNA damage response and cell cycle control (ATM, TP53).

Apart from preexisting metastases three polymorphic variants were independent prognostic high risk factors of lack of response to FAC chemotherapy. Our results showed that the response to treatment depended of the variability in genes engaged in drugs’ transport (ABCC2 c.-24C>T, ABCB1 p.Ser893Ala/Thr) and in DNA repair machinery (ERCC2 p.Lys751Gln). Furthermore, the growing number of high-risk genotypes was reflected in gradual increase in risk of the non-responsiveness to treatment- from OR 2.68 for presence of two genotypes to OR 9.93 for carriers of all three negative genotypes in the group of all patients. Similar gene-dosage effect was observed in the subgroup of TNBCs. Also, TFFS significantly shortened with the increasing number of high-risk genotypes, with median of 54.4 months for carriers of one variant, to 51.5 and 34.9 months for the carriers of two and three genotypes, respectively.

Our results demonstrate that results of cancer treatment are the effect of many clinical and genetic factors. It seems that multifactorial polymorphic models could be a potentially useful tool in personalization of cancer therapies. The novelty in our model is the over representation of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients among the carriers of all unfavorable polymorphic variants. This finding contributes to the elucidation of the mechanisms of drug resistance in this subgroup of breast cancer patients.

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