Research Papers:

Pharmacogenetics of toxicity of 5-fluorouracil, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide chemotherapy in breast cancer patients

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

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:9114-9136. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24148

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Karolina Tecza1, Jolanta Pamula-Pilat1, Joanna Lanuszewska1, Dorota Butkiewicz1 and Ewa Grzybowska1

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

Correspondence to:

Ewa Grzybowska, email: [email protected]

Keywords: breast cancer; FAC; chemotherapy; polymorphism; treatment toxicity

Received: October 06, 2017     Accepted: January 02, 2018     Published: January 10, 2018


The differences in patients’ response to the same medication, toxicity included, are one of the major problems in breast cancer treatment. Chemotherapy toxicity makes a significant clinical problem due to decreased quality of life, prolongation of treatment and reinforcement of negative emotions associated with therapy.

In this study we evaluated the genetic and clinical risk factors of FAC chemotherapy-related toxicities in the group of 324 breast cancer patients. Selected genes and their polymorphisms were involved in FAC drugs transport (ABCB1, ABCC2, ABCG2,SLC22A16), metabolism (ALDH3A1, CBR1, CYP1B1, CYP2C19, DPYD, GSTM1, GSTP1, GSTT1, MTHFR,TYMS), DNA damage recognition, repair and cell cycle control (ATM, ERCC1, ERCC2, TP53, XRCC1).

The multifactorial risk models that combine genetic risk modifiers and clinical characteristics were constructed for 12 toxic symptoms. The majority of toxicities was dependent on the modifications in components of more than one pathway of FAC drugs, while the impact level of clinical factors was comparable to the genetic ones. For the carriers of multiple high risk factors the chance of developing given symptom was significantly elevated which proved the factor-dosage effect. We found the strongest associations between concurrent presence of clinical factors - overall and recurrent anemia, nephrotoxicity and early nausea and genetic polymorphisms in genes responsible for DNA repair, drugs metabolism and transport pathways. These results indicate the possibility of selection of the patients with expected high tolerance to FAC treatment and consequently with high chance of chemotherapy completion without the dose reduction, treatment delays and decline in the quality of life.

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