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Marqueurs de réponse aux thérapies ciblées et personnalisation thérapeutique dans les cancers colorectaux métastatiques

Abstract : Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide with more than one million patients diagnosed each year, among 50% will develop metastatic disease. Recent efforts to improve the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) has led to the development of monoclonal antibodies such as cetuximab and panitumumab, that inhibit the activation of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) and its downstream pathways (namely RAS/RAF/MAPK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR) that promote cell growth, proliferation, inhibition of apoptosis, invasion and metastasis. However, from studies including “RAS wild-type” i.e. KRAS and NRAS wild-type tumors, the response rates to cetuximab or panitumumab therapy ranged from only 40 to 60% which results in a large fraction of patients without any known causes for treatment failure. The presence of alterations in other genes such as PIK3CA or BRAF in the EGFR-dependent signaling pathways is responsible for some of the non-responding cases. Moreover, overexpression or alterations of proteins such as PTEN, PI3K, AKT, involved in the RAS/RAF/MAPK or PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways can have a significant impact on cell proliferation or apoptosis. Absence or overexpression of proteins under their active phosphorylated forms may be of interest to predict response to anti-EGFR in RAS wild-type patients. In this work, we first developed assays to assess RAS and PIK3CA mutations in formalin fixed paraffin embedded colorectal tumors, then we validated these assays according to ISO 15189 and we finally studied expression of downstream signalling phosphoproteins and KRAS, NRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA status in 100 frozen samples of patients with mCRC and treated with anti-EGFR. Among the 100 tumor samples, 60 were RAS wild-type. Among the RAS wild-type patients, 45.0% achieved a complete or partial response, and 55.0% had a stable disease or progression (p<0.001) when treated with anti-EGFR. Patients with a RAS mutation had significant lower progression-free survival (PFS) (HR=3.04[1.91; 4.83];p<0.001) and overall survival (OS) (HR=2.49[1.56; 3.97];p<0.001). PFS and OS were significantly higher in RAS wild-type patients. Expression of pAKT, pERK1/2 and pMEK1 was significantly lower in RAS wild-type patients than in RAS mutated patients (p=0.0246; p=0.004; p=0.0110 respectively) and no significant difference was observed between RAS wild-type and RAS mutated tumors in the expression of pEGFR, pGSK3, pIGFR, pP70S6K and pP90SRK. In RAS wild-type patients, response rate was significantly higher for tumors that overexpressed pEGFR and pAKT above the calculated threshold (p=0.0258 and p=0.0277 respectively). No significant relation was found between response rate and the level of expression of the other phosphoproteins. Our study shows that combining the analysis of the expression of EGFR downstream signalling phosphoproteins, RAS, BRAF or PIK3CA status could be of interest to predict the response to anti-EGFR therapies in patients with mCRC
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Alexandre Harlé. Marqueurs de réponse aux thérapies ciblées et personnalisation thérapeutique dans les cancers colorectaux métastatiques. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université de Lorraine, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014LORR0267⟩. ⟨tel-01751299⟩

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