Research Papers:

A set of defined oncogenic mutation alleles seems to better predict the response to cetuximab in CRC patient-derived xenograft than KRAS 12/13 mutations

Dawei Chen _, Xuesong Huang, Jie Cai, Sheng Guo, Wubin Qian, Jean-Pierre Wery and Qi-Xiang Li

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:40815-40821. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5886

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Dawei Chen1, Xuesong Huang1, Jie Cai1, Sheng Guo1, Wubin Qian1, Jean-Pierre Wery1, Qi-Xiang Li1,2

1Crown Bioscience, Inc., 3375 Scott Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA

2State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China

Correspondence to:

Qi-Xiang Li, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: biomarker, PDX, KRAS, erbitux, patient stratification

Received: August 12, 2015     Accepted: September 28, 2015     Published: October 26, 2015


Cetuximab is a standard of care for treating EGFR-expressing metastatic colorectal carcinoma (mCRC) exclusive of those with KRAS mutations at codons 12/13. However, retrospective analysis has recently suggested that KRAS-G13D patients can still benefit, while only a fraction of KRAS wild-type patients can benefit, from the treatment. We set out to test this contradicting issue experimentally in an independent cohort of patient derived xenograft (PDX) diseases. We conducted a mouse clinical trial (MCT) enrolling a random cohort of 27 transcriptome sequenced CRC-PDXs to evaluate cetuximab activity. The treatment responses were analyzed against the KRAS 12/13 mutation alleles, as well as several other well-known oncogenic alleles. If the response is defined by >80% tumor growth inhibition, 8/27 PDXs (~30%) are responders versus 19/27 non-/partial responders (~70%). We found that indeed there are no significantly fewer KRAS-12/13-allele responders (4/8 or 50%) than non-/partial responders (7/19, or 37%). In particular, there are actually no fewer G13D responders (4/8, or 50%) than in non-/partial responders (2/19 or 10.5%) statistically. Furthermore, majority of the non-/partial responders tend to have certain activating oncogenic alleles (one or more of the following common ones: K/N-RAS-G12V/D, -A146T, -Q61H/R, BRAF-V600E, AKT1-L52R and PIK3CA-E545G/K). Our data on an independent cohort support the recent clinical observation, but against the current practiced patient stratification in the cetuximab CRC treatment. Meanwhile, our data seem to suggest that a set of the six-oncogenic alleles may be of better predictive value than the current practiced stratification, justifying a new prospective clinical investigation on an independent cohort for confirmation.

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