Evaluation of antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity activity and cetuximab response in KRAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

Posted on 8 marzo 2016

Lo Nigro C, Ricci V, Vivenza D, Monteverde M, Strola G, Lucio F, Tonissi F, Miraglio E, Granetto C, Fortunato M, Merlano MC.

World J Gastrointest Oncol. 2016 Feb 15;8(2):222-30. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v8.i2.222.



To investigate the prognostic role of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) in wild type KRAS metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients treated with cetuximab.


Forty-one KRAS wt mCRC patients, treated with cetuximab and irinotecan-based chemotherapy in II and III lines were analyzed. Genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)s in the FCGR2A, FCGR3A and in the 3′ untranslated regions of KRAS and mutational analysis for KRAS, BRAF and NRAS genes was determined either by sequencing or allelic discrimination assays. Enriched NK cells were obtained from lymphoprep-peripheral blood mononuclear cell and iNKT cells were defined by co-expression of CD3, TCRVα24, TCRVβ11. ADCC was evaluated as ex vivo NK-dependent activity, measuring lactate dehydrogenase release.


At basal, mCRC patients performing ADCC activity above the median level (71%) showed an improved overall survival (OS) compared to patients with ADCC below (median 16 vs 8 mo; P = 0.026). We did not find any significant correlation of iNKT cells with OS (P = 0.19), albeit we observed a trend to a longer survival after 10 mo in patients with iNKT above median basal level (0.382 cells/microliter). Correlation of OS and progression-free survival (PFS) with interesting SNPs involved in ADCC ability revealed not to be significant. Patients carrying alleles both with A in FCGR2A and TT in FCGR3A presented a trend of longer PFS (median 9 vs 5 mo; P = 0.064). Chemotherapy impacted both iNKT cells and ADCC activity. Their prognostic values get lost when we analysed them after 2 and 4 mo of treatment.


Our results suggest a link between iNKT cells, basal ADCC activity, genotypes in FCGR2A and FCGR3A, and efficacy of cetuximab in KRAS wt mCRC patients.