- •Markers predicting efficacy of bevacizumab in metastatic colon cancer are warranted.
- •R-spondins play a role in angiogenesis and progression of colorectal cancer.
- •R-spondins exert their oncogenic role through activation of the Wnt pathway.
- •A polymorphism in RSPO2 predicts outcome in patients receiving FOLFIRI/bevacizumab.
- •Potential to identify patients who will benefit most from FOLFIRI/bevacizumab.
Through enhancement of the Wnt signalling pathway, R-spondins are oncogenic drivers in colorectal cancer. Experimental data suggest that the R-spondin/Wnt axis stimulates vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-dependent angiogenesis. We therefore hypothesise that variations within R-spondin genes predict outcome in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) treated with upfront FOLFIRI and bevacizumab.
Patients and methods
773 patients with mCRC enrolled in the randomised phase III FIRE-3 and TRIBE trials and receiving either FOLFIRI/bevacizumab (training and validation cohorts) or FOLFIRI/cetuximab (control group) were involved in this study. The impact of six functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the R-spondin 1-3 genes on outcome was evaluated.
RAS and KRAS wild-type patients harbouring any G allele of the RSPO2 rs555008 SNP had a longer overall survival compared with those having a TT genotype in both the training (FIRE-3) and validation (TRIBE) cohorts (29.0 vs 23.6 months, P = 0.009 and 37.8 vs 19.4 months, P = 0.021 for RAS wild-type patients and 28.4 vs 22.3 months, P = 0.011 and 36.0 vs 23.3 months, P = 0.046 for KRAS wild-type patients). Conversely, any G allele carriers with KRAS and RAS mutant tumours exhibited a shorter progression-free survival compared with TT genotype carriers, whereas the results were clinically more evident for KRAS mutant patients in both the training and validation cohorts (8.1 vs 11.2 months, P = 0.023 and 8.7 vs 10.3 months, P = 0.009).
Genotyping of the RSPO2 rs555008 polymorphism may help to select patients who will derive the most benefit from FOLFIRI/bevacizumab dependent on (K)RAS mutational status.
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Published online: April 19, 2020
Accepted: February 17, 2020
Received in revised form: February 16, 2020
Received: January 12, 2020
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.