Putative contribution of CD56 positive cells in cetuximab treatment efficacy in first-line metastatic colorectal cancer patients
Marechal, Raphael × De Schutter, Jef Nagy, Nathalie Demetter, Pieter Lemmers, Arnaud Deviere, Jacques Salmon, Isabelle Tejpar, Sabine Van Laethem, Jean-Luc #
BMC Cancer vol:10
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Activity of cetuximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor, is largely attributed to its direct antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects. Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) could be another possible mechanism of cetuximab antitumor effects and its specific contribution on the clinical activity of cetuximab is unknown. Methods: We assessed immune cells infiltrate (CD56, CD68, CD3, CD4, CD8, Foxp3) in the primary tumor of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients treated with a first-line cetuximab-based chemotherapy in the framework of prospective trials (treatment group) and in a matched group of mCRC patients who received the same chemotherapy regimen without cetuximab (control group). The relationship between intra-tumoral immune effector cells, the K-ras status and the efficacy of the treatment were investigated. We also evaluated in vitro, the ADCC activity in healthy donors and chemonaive mCRC patients and the specific contribution of CD56+ cells. Results: ADCC activity against DLD1 CRC cell line is maintained in cancer patients and significantly declined after CD56+ cells depletion. In multivariate analysis, K-ras wild-type (HR: 4.7 (95% CI 1.8-12.3), p=0.001) and tumor infiltrating CD56+ cells (HR: 2.6, (95%CI:1.14-6.0), p=0.019) were independent favourable prognostic factors for PFS and response only in the cetuximab treatment group. By contrast CD56+ cells failed to predict PFS and response in the control group. Conclusions: CD56+ cells, mainly NK cells, may be the major effector of ADCC related-cetuximab activity. Assessment of CD56+ cells infiltrate in primary colorectal adenocarcinoma may provide additional information to K-ras status in predicting response and PFS in mCRC patients treated with first-line cetuximab-based chemotherapy.