Pharmacogenetics biomarkers and their specific role in neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy treatments: An exploratory study on rectal cancer patients

Eva Dreussi, Erika Cecchin, Jerry Polesel, Vincenzo Canzonieri, Marco Agostini, Caterina Boso, Claudio Belluco, Angela Buonadonna, Sara Lonardi, Francesca Bergamo, Sara Gagno, Elena De Mattia, Salvatore Pucciarelli, Antonino De Paoli, Giuseppe Toffoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Pathological complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) in locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) is still ascribed to a minority of patients. A pathway based-approach could highlight the predictive role of germline single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The primary aim of this study was to define new predictive biomarkers considering treatment specificities. Secondary aim was to determine new potential predictive biomarkers independent from radiotherapy (RT) dosage and cotreatment with oxaliplatin. Methods: Thirty germ-line SNPs in twenty-one genes were selected according to a pathway-based approach. Genetic analyses were performed on 280 LARC patients who underwent fluoropyrimidine-based CRT. The potential predictive role of these SNPs in determining pathological tumor response was tested in Group 1 (94 patients undergoing also oxaliplatin), Group 2 (73 patients treated with high RT dosage), Group 3 (113 patients treated with standard RT dosage), and in the pooled population (280 patients). Results: Nine new predictive biomarkers were identified in the three groups. The most promising one was rs3136228-MSH6 (p = 0.004) arising from Group 3. In the pooled population, rs1801133-MTHFR showed only a trend (p = 0.073). Conclusion: This exploratory study highlighted new potential predictive biomarkers of neoadjuvant CRT and underlined the importance to strictly define treatment peculiarities in pharmacogenetic analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1482
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 5 2016


  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Locally advanced rectal cancer
  • Pharmacogenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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