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Ann Oncol. 2011 Jan;22(1):104-9. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdq315. Epub 2010 Jul 5.

A let-7 microRNA-binding site polymorphism in 3'-untranslated region of KRAS gene predicts response in wild-type KRAS patients with metastatic colorectal cancer treated with cetuximab monotherapy.

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Division of Medical Oncology, University of Southern California/Norris COomprehensive Cancer Center, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



recent studies have found that KRAS mutations predict resistance to monoclonal antibodies targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). A polymorphism in a let-7 microRNA complementary site (lcs6) in the KRAS 3' untranslated region (UTR) is associated with an increased cancer risk in non-small-cell lung cancer and reduced overall survival (OS) in oral cancers. We tested the hypothesis whether this polymorphism may be associated with clinical outcome in KRAS wild-type (KRASwt) mCRC patients treated with cetuximab monotherapy.


the presence of KRAS let-7 lcs6 polymorphism was evaluated in 130 mCRC patients who were enrolled in a phase II study of cetuximab monotherapy (IMCL-0144). Genomic DNA was extracted from dissected formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue, KRAS mutation status and polymorphism were assessed using direct sequencing and PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism technique.


KRAS let-7 lcs6 polymorphism was found to be related to object response rate (ORR) in mCRC patients whose tumors had KRASwt. The 12 KRASwt patients harboring at least a variant G allele (TG or GG) had a 42% ORR compared with a 9% ORR in 55 KRASwt patients with let-7 lcs6 TT genotype (P = 0.02, Fisher's exact test). KRASwt patients with TG/GG genotypes had trend of longer median progression-free survival (3.9 versus 1.3 months) and OS (10.7 versus 6.4 months) compared to those with TT genotypes.


these results are the first to indicate that the KRAS 3'UTR polymorphism may predict for cetuximab responsiveness in KRASwt mCRC patients, which warrants validation in other clinical trials.

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