Original Article

The influence of FCGR2A and FCGR3A polymorphisms on the survival of patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell head and neck cancer treated with cetuximab

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Abstract

FCGR2A-H131R and FCGR3A-V157F are single-nucleotide polymorphisms known to influence the outcome of patients treated with rituximab, cetuximab and trastuzumab. We investigated the impact of these polymorphisms on the clinical outcome of 103 patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck treated with a platinum compound, fluorouracil and cetuximab as palliative first-line therapy. The survival of patients with FCGR2A-131H/H and/or FCGR3A-157V/V genotypes was significantly longer compared with patients carrying 131R and 157F alleles (median progression-free survival (PFS): 5.5 vs 4.1 months, P=0.02; median overall survival: 10.2 vs 7.2 months, P=0.04). In multivariate analysis, the FCGR2A and 3A genotypes as well as the time between initial diagnosis and relapse of disease not amenable to curative therapy remained the only independent prognostic factors for PFS. The results are in line with previous reports in colorectal cancer patients and confirm the possible value of genetic polymorphisms of immunocompetent cells for the success of cetuximab treatment.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the PMU Research Funds PMU FFF (grant number: R-16/02/081-MAM), the Province of Salzburg and by an unrestricted grant from the company Merck.

Author information

Author notes

    • T Magnes
    •  & T Melchardt

    The first two authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Department of Internal Medicine III with Hematology, Medical Oncology, Hemostaseology, Infectious Disease, Rheumatology, Oncologic Center, Laboratory for Immunological and Molecular Cancer Research, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria

    • T Magnes
    • , T Melchardt
    • , C Hufnagl
    • , L Weiss
    • , C Mittermair
    • , G Rinnerthaler
    • , R Greil
    •  & A Egle
  2. Salzburg Cancer Research Institute (SCRI), Salzburg, Austria

    • T Magnes
    • , T Melchardt
    • , C Hufnagl
    • , L Weiss
    • , C Mittermair
    • , G Rinnerthaler
    • , R Greil
    •  & A Egle
  3. Cancer Cluster Salzburg (CCS), Salzburg, Austria

    • T Magnes
    • , T Melchardt
    • , C Hufnagl
    • , L Weiss
    • , C Mittermair
    • , G Rinnerthaler
    • , R Greil
    •  & A Egle
  4. Institute of Pathology, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria

    • D Neureiter
    •  & E Klieser
  5. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, Austria

    • S Roesch
  6. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, Austria

    • A Gaggl

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Competing interests

After submission of the first manuscript and during the review process, T Melchardt received an unrestricted grant from the company Merck. The other authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to A Egle.