Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in angiogenesis-associated genes might play an important role in activity of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib and could affect survival of cancer patients treated with this drug. The aim of this retrospective study was to elucidate the role of 10 known SNPs in VEGFA, VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and VEGFR3 as potential prognostic and predictive markers in an independent cohort of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).
DNA from 121 mRCC patients treated with sunitinib was used to analyze SNPs by TaqMan genotyping assays. Disease control rate was evaluated according to RECIST. Adverse effects of sunitinib were registered from medical records. The results of Cox and logistic regression were verified by correction for multiple testing.
Kaplan–Meier analysis revealed a reduced progression-free survival in patients with the wild-type (WT) allele of the VEGFA SNP rs699947 compared to variant alleles. Patients with the AA/AC-alleles of the VEGFR1 SNP rs9582036 had an improved median overall survival compared to those with the CC–WT allele what could be confirmed by multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression analyses. No statistically significant associations between the analyzed SNPs and higher risk for adverse effects were observed.
The results of this study suggest that most of the selected SNPs in angiogenesis-related genes are not associated with survival of mRCC patients after sunitinib therapy or with adverse effects. Only the VEGFR1 SNP rs9582036 showed a statistically significant association with overall survival. The potential of SNPs as prognostic and predictive markers for sunitinib-treated mRCC patients should be finally assessed by prospective studies.
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We thank the German Renal Cell Cancer Network for the successful cooperation and Kati Erdmann for her critical review of the manuscript.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
On behalf of the German Renal Cell Cancer Network.
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Dornbusch, J., Walter, M., Gottschalk, A. et al. Evaluation of polymorphisms in angiogenesis-related genes as predictive and prognostic markers for sunitinib-treated metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 142, 1171–1182 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-016-2137-0