An exploratory association of polymorphisms in angiogenesis-related genes with susceptibility, clinical response and toxicity in gastrointestinal stromal tumors receiving sunitinib after imatinib failure

Gloria Ravegnini, Margherita Nannini, Corrado Zenesini, Vittorio Simeon, Giulia Sammarini, Milena Urbini, Lidia Gatto, Maristella Saponara, Guido Biasco, Maria A. Pantaleo, Nicola Venturoli, Patrizia Hrelia, Sabrina Angelini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The angiogenic pathway plays a pivotal role in tumor growth, invasiveness and metastasis. The most important actors in the angiogenic pathway are VEGFA and its receptors VEGFR1, 2 and 3. These genes are polymorphic, and the presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms may result in angiogenic deregulation. Herein, we hypothesized that germline variants may affect sunitinib efficacy (TTP and OS) and/or toxicity. Therefore, we investigated 19 polymorphisms, in four genes, in 54 GIST patients, treated with second-line sunitinib and 147 healthy controls. Through a multiple candidate gene approach, we also investigated, for the first time, any possible significant associations with GIST susceptibility and clinical pathological features. The most important result shows two associations between polymorphisms in VEGFR3 rs6877011 (CC vs. CG, OR 9.7, 95% CI 3.31–28.4; P < 0.001) and rs7709359 (AA+AG vs. GG, OR 5.01, 95% CI 1.33–18.8; P = 0.017) and TTP. Interestingly, the association between VEGFR3 rs6877011 and TTP maintained the significance after applying the Bonferroni correction for multiple testing (P = 0.017). We also highlighted the association with sunitinib-related toxicity; in particular, VEGFA polymorphism rs3025039 (CT+TT vs. CC, OR 15.3, 95% CI 2.2–102.1; P = 0.005) is associated with severe toxicity, with the presence of the variant T allele associated with a grade ≥3 AE. Because of the small sample size and large number of tests performed, we cannot ignore the possibility that some associations have been retrieved by chance. However, the influence of VEGF polymorphisms in angiogenesis is a hypothesis worthy of exploration in cellular models and confirmation in a sizeable cohort of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalAngiogenesis
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 28 2016

Keywords

  • Angiogenesis
  • Clinical outcome
  • Clinical response
  • GIST
  • OS
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Polymorphisms
  • SNP
  • Sunitinib
  • Toxicity
  • TTP
  • VEGF pathway
  • VEGFA
  • VEGFR1
  • VEGFR2
  • VEGFR3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cancer Research

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