Gastrointestinal Cancer—Colorectal and Anal
Predictive value of CDC37 gene expression for targeted therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).
Background: HSP90 mediated chaperoning is a well-conserved biological mechanism for stabilization and activation of kinases. More than 60% of human kinases including VEGFR, CRAF, CSF1R, and FGFR are target of HSP90 (client kinases), whereas EGFR is non-client. CDC37 is a specific co-chaperone determining selectivity of client kinases recognized by HSP90. We hypothesized that gene expression levels of CDC37 have predictive values for anti-angiogenic therapies in mCRC. Methods: The subjects of this study were mCRC patients treated with regorafenib (REGO, Japanese retrospective cohort) and those treated with bevacizumab (BEV) or cetuximab (CET) in combination with first-line chemotherapy (CALGB/SWOG 80405 trial cohort). CDC37 expression levels were measured using RNA isolated from FFPE samples by nCounter gene expression profiling (Nanostring) and HiSeq 2500 (Illumina) in the Japanese and CALGB/SWOG 80405 cohorts, respectively. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were compared between patients with high CDC37 expression (CDC37-H) and those with low expression (CDC37-L), grouped by median cutoff value in each cohort. Results: In total, 484 patients were included (50 treated with REGO, 227 treated with BEV, and 207 treated with CET). In REGO-treated patients, CDC37-H showed significantly better OS (median 11.3 vs 6.0 months, adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.11-0.54, p <0.01) and PFS (median 3.5 vs 1.9 months, adjusted HR 0.51, 95% CI 0.28-0.94, p = 0.03) compared to CDC37-L. Similarly, in BEV-treated patients, CDC37-H showed significantly better PFS (median 13.5 vs 9.6 months, adjusted HR 0.59, 95% CI 0.43-0.79, p <0.01) and numerically better OS (median 34.1 vs 29.4 months, adjusted HR 0.81, 95% CI 0.60-1.11, p = 0.20) compared to CDC37-L. However, in CET-treated patients, CDC37-H and CDC37-L patients showed similar OS (median 33.7 vs 26.1 months, adjusted HR 1.00, 95% CI 0.73-1.38, p = 0.98) and PFS (median 11.3 vs 11.0 months, adjusted HR 1.08, 95% CI 0.81-1.45, p = 0.60). Significant interaction was observed between CDC37 expression and treatment in terms of PFS in the CALGB/SWOG 80405 cohort (p = 0.01). Conclusions: Our results suggest patients with CDC37-dependent (CDC37-H) tumors may derive more benefit from REGO and BEV both of which target HSP90 client kinases or signaling pathways, but not from CET which target HSP90 non-client kinase. Further validation studies are warranted to develop a novel personalized approach for targeted therapies based on CDC37 expression in mCRC patients. Support: U10CA180821, U10CA180888; Pfizer, Genentech; https://acknowledgments.alliancefound.org. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00265850.