Alonso-Espinaco V, Marmol M, Alonso V, Escudero P, Horndler C, Ortego J, Gallego R, Garcia-Albeniz X, Jares P, Cuatrecasas M, Jose Lozano J, Castells A, Maurel J. Influence of BRAF mutations and RAC1b/RAC1 mRNA expression ratio on outcome in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) treated with first-line chemotherapy. Poster presented at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting; June 4, 2012. Chicago, IL. [abstract] J Clin Oncol. 2012 Jun; 30(15_Suppl):3553. doi: 10.1200/jco.2012.30.15_suppl.3553

BACKGROUND: Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients (pts), with BRAF tumor mutation (V600E) present poor overall survival (OS). RAC1b, a RAC1 spliced variant, is overexpressed in CRC, and impairs apoptosis by activation of nuclear-factor-KB. Because RAC1b and BRAF (V600E) are significantly associated in CRC (Matos et al, 2008), we evaluated if RAC1b/RAC1 mRNA expression ratio (RNA ER) was an independent prognostic factor in mCRC.

We analyzed tumor samples from 186 mCRC pts, treated in first-line therapy with FOLFOX or CAPOX in three Spanish hospitals. We examined BRAF (V600E) mutational status by allelic discrimination, RAC1b/RAC1 expression ratio by mRNA RT-PCR (quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction) and mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency by microsatellite instability (MSI) analysis. We assessed whether these biomarkers were independently predictive of response rate (RR), progression free survival (PFS) or OS.

RESULTS: 88% of samples were informative for BRAF, 75% for MMR status and 85% for RAC1b/RAC1 (RNA ER). BRAF (V600E) was found in 7%, MSI-H in 5% and high >0.9-fold RAC1b/RAC1 (RNA ER) in 20% of pts. Five of 11 pts (46%) with BRAF mutation had high RAC1b/RAC1 (RNA ER) compared with 25/144 (18%) without BRAF mutation (p=0.036). All pts with BRAF mutation were MMR and none of the MSI-H pts, showed high RAC1b/RAC1 (RNA ER). Patients with low RAC1b/RAC1 (RNA ER) and BRAF WT had higher response rate (68% vs 43%; p=0.035). Response rate were not different according BRAF mutation (64% WT vs 63% mutant) (p=NS). The multivariate regression analysis identified ECOG PS (HR: 4.2 (CI 1.4-12.7) as a significant variable for PFS and LDH levels (HR: 2.26 (CI 1.3-3.8), PS (HR: 3.85 (CI 1.5-9.8) and high RAC1b/RAC1 (RNA ER) (HR: 2.6 (CI 1.1-5.9) for OS in WT BRAF pts.

CONCLUSIONS: High RAC1b/RAC1 (RNA ER) constitutes a marker of poor OS and a potential marker of acquired chemo-resistance in WT BRAF mCRC pts treated with first-line oxaliplatin-based therapy.

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