Research Papers:

More severe toxicity of genetic polymorphisms on MTHFR activity in osteosarcoma patients treated with high-dose methotrexate

Lu Xie, Wei Guo _, Yi Yang, Tao Ji and Jie Xu

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:11465-11476. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23222

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Lu Xie1, Wei Guo1, Yi Yang1, Tao Ji1 and Jie Xu1

1Musculoskeletal Tumor Center, Peking University People’s Hospital, Beijing 100044, China

Correspondence to:

Wei Guo, email: [email protected]

Keywords: osteosarcoma; MTHFR polymorphism; drug toxicity; survival

Received: June 20, 2017     Accepted: November 15, 2017     Published: December 14, 2017


5,10-Methylenetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), a key enzyme for folate metabolism, catalyses the irreversible conversion of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, which is located at the end of the short arm (1p36.3). Two common non-synonymous variants, the C677T (Ala222Val) and A1298C (Glu429Ala), were mainly described with decreased enzymatic activity and an alteration of intracellular folate distribution. Osteosarcomas are currently treated with high dose of methotrexate (MTX). The decreased enzyme activity of MTHFR theoretically could increase the drug action of MTX and at the same time increase toxic and side effect. Germline variants of C677T and A1298C were studied in 59 osteosarcoma patients, with whom the A1298C is detected with particularly low rate of mutant genotype (N = 1, 0.8%) and could not proceed with statistical calculations. 15 patients were wild type of C677T (CC, 25.4%), 20 were heterozygous mutant genotype (CT, 33.9%) and 24 were homozygous mutant genotype (TT, 40.7%). Patients harboring the TT/CT genotype had the same progression-free survival and tumor necrosis rate in comparison with patients having the CC genotype (P = 0.349 and P = 0.465 respectively). And the C677T polymorphisms had no significant correlation with MTX initial plasma concentration (P = 0.867; r = 0.024) and delayed elimination (P = 0.305; r = –0.136). However patients with mutant genotype of C677T were associated with higher degree of liver toxicity (P = 0.043) and fever reaction of MTX (P = 0.050) while G3/G4 hematologic toxicity were more likely to be noticed with TT than CT/CC (P = 0.095). The study suggests that genetic polymorphism of MTHFR C677T in the MTX metabolic pathway seems to be associated with the trend for more side effects statistically, but has no obvious effect on histologic response and survival.

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