Prognostic and predictive role of EGFR pathway alterations in biliary cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and anti-EGFR

Caterina Peraldo-Neia, Giuliana Cavalloni, Elisabetta Fenocchio, Celeste Cagnazzo, Loretta Gammaitoni, Stefano Cereda, Guglielmo Nasti, Maria Antonietta Satolli, Giuseppe Aprile, Michele Reni, Antonio Avallone, Rosella Spadi, Tiziana Venesio, Vittoria Martin, Claudio Doglioni, Milo Frattini, Massimo Aglietta, Francesco Leone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The association of anti-EGFR to gemcitabine and oxaliplatin (GEMOX) chemotherapy did not improve survival in biliary tract carcinoma (BTC) patients. Multiple mechanisms might be involved in the resistance to anti-EGFR. Here, we explored the mutation profile of EGFR extracellular domain (ECD), of tyrosine kinase domain (TKD), and its amplification status. EGFR mutational status of exons 12, 18-21 was analyzed in 57 tumors by Sanger sequencing. EGFR amplification was evaluated in 37 tumors by Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH). Kaplan-Meier curves were calculated using the log-rank test. Six patients had mutations in exon 12 of EGFR ECD and 7 in EGFR TKD. Neither EGFR ECD nor TKD mutations affected progression free survival (PFS) or overall survival (OS) in the entire population. In the panitumumab plus GEMOX (P-GEMOX) arm, ECD mutated patients had a worse OS, while EGFR TKD mutated patients had a trend towards shorter PFS and OS. Overall, the presence of mutations in EGFR or in its transducers did not affect PFS or OS, while the extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ECC) mutated patients had a worse prognosis compared to WT. Nineteen out of 37 tumors were EGFR amplified, but the amplification did not correlate with survival. ECC EGFR amplified patients had improved OS, whereas the amplification significantly correlated with poor PFS (p = 0.03) in gallbladder carcinoma patients. The high molecular heterogeneity is a predominant feature of BTC: the alterations found in this work seem to have a prognostic impact rather than a predictive role towards anti-EGFR therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0191593
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/administration & dosage
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Cholangiocarcinoma/drug therapy
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Deoxycytidine/administration & dosage
  • ErbB Receptors/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Gene Amplification
  • Genes, erbB-1
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Mutation
  • Organoplatinum Compounds/administration & dosage
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Panitumumab
  • Prognosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Prognostic and predictive role of EGFR pathway alterations in biliary cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and anti-EGFR'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this