OBJECTIVE: Platinum-based chemotherapy plus the anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody (mAb) cetuximab is used to treat recurrent/metastatic (RM) head-neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Recently, we defined Cluster3 gene-expression signature as a potential predictor of favorable progression-free survival (PFS) in cetuximab-treated RM-HNSCC patients and predictor of partial metabolic FDG-PET response in an afatinib window-of-opportunity trial. Another anti-EGFR-mAb (panitumumab) was used as the treatment agent in RM-HNSCC patients in the phase II PANI01trial. PANI01 tumor samples were analyzed using functional genomics to explore response predictors to anti-EGFR therapy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Whole-gene expression and real-time PCR analyses were applied to pre-treatment samples from 25 PANI01 patients. Three gene signatures (Cluster3 score, RAS onco-signature, microenvironment score) and seven selected miRNAs were separately analyzed for association with panitumumab efficacy.
RESULTS: Cluster3 expression levels had a profile with a significant bimodal separation of samples (P = 3.08 E-13). Higher RAS activation, microenvironment score, and miRNA expression were associated with low-Cluster3 patients. The same biomarkers were separately associated with PFS. Patients with high-Cluster3 had significantly longer PFS than patients with low-Cluster3 (median PFS: 174 versus 51 days; log-rank P = 0.0021). ROC analysis demonstrated accuracy in predicting PFS (AUC = 0.877).
CONCLUSIONS: Despite differences in clinical settings and anti-EGFR inhibitors used for treatment, response prediction by the Cluster3 signature and selected miRNAs was essentially the same. Translation into a useful clinical assay requires validation in a broader setting.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2018|