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Poster Discussion – Gastrointestinal tumours, colorectal

5073 - Association between transit-amplifying signature and outcomes of patients treated with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapy in colorectal cancer


29 Sep 2019


Poster Discussion – Gastrointestinal tumours, colorectal


Elisa Fontana


Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_5): v198-v252. 10.1093/annonc/mdz246


E. Fontana1, G. Nyamundanda1, D. Cunningham2, D.J. Jonker3, L.L. Siu4, D. Tu5, F. Sclafani2, K.V. Eason1, C. Ragulan1, S. Hulkki-Wilson1, J.M. Loree6, M. Giordano7, P.V. Lawrence1, J. Shapiro8, C. Cremolini9, N. Starling2, F. Pietrantonio10, L. Trusolino11, C. O'Callaghan5, A. Sadanandam1

Author affiliations

  • 1 Molecular Pathology, The Institute of Cancer Research/Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, SM2 5NG - Sutton/GB
  • 2 Department Of Medicine, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust/The Institute of Cancer Research, SM2 5PT - Sutton/GB
  • 3 Department Of Medicine, Division Of Medical Oncology, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, K1H8L6 - Ottawa/CA
  • 4 Medical Oncology And Hematology Department, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, M5G 1Z5 - Toronto/CA
  • 5 Cctg Trials Unit, Queen's University, K7L 3N6 - Kingston/CA
  • 6 Medical Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Agency, V5Z 4E6 - Vancouver/CA
  • 7 Department Of Surgical, Medical, Molecular Pathology, And Critical Area, University of Pisa, 56126 - Pisa/IT
  • 8 Department Of Medical Oncology, Cabrini Health, 3144 - Malvern/AU
  • 9 Department Of Translational Research And New Technologies In Medicine And Surgery, Unit of Medical Oncology 2, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Pisana, 56126 - Pisa/IT
  • 10 Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan/IT
  • 11 Medical Oncology, IRCCS Istituto di Candiolo, 10060 - Candiolo/IT


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Abstract 5073


In CRC, the transit-amplifying (TA) subtype is enriched for tumours sensitive to anti-EGFR agents. At the same time, the presence of TA gene signature in tumours belonging to other subtypes may suggest potential anti-EGFR benefit. Hence, we evaluated the association between the TA signature (presence - class 1; absence - class 2) and outcomes in CRC patients (pts) treated with anti-EGFR therapy.


Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples from a retrospective discovery cohort (D) and an independent clinical trial cohort (CO.20 study, validation (V)) were classified into the two TA classes using our published nCounter assay (NanoString Technologies). A subset of pts with extended RAS/BRAF wild-type (WT) tumours, cell lines, and pts-derived xenografts (PDXs) were also evaluated. Biomarker portability was evaluated in primary/metastatic samples and different platforms (microarrays).


Up to 295 quality samples were included (D-84; V-121; 30 matched pts and control/treated PDXs). Class 1 pts had significantly longer progression-free survival [PFS; D – adjusted (adj) HR 1.95 (1.15-3.31) p < 0.01; V – adj HR 1.59 (1.07-2.37) p < 0.02] and higher disease control rate (DCR) [D – adj p < 0.0001; V adj p < 0.001]. In D cohort (unselected for RAS/BRAF) classes were significantly associated with sidedness (left 71% class 1; right 58% class 2). In 71 WT pts, class 1 was associated with significantly higher DCR (83% vs. 39%, adj p: 0.003); and trend towards longer PFS and response. This association was more pronounced in a clinically relevant cohort of 51 WT and left-sided pts (class 2 vs. class 1 median PFS: 2 vs. 5.62 months; HR: 1.88 (0.99-3.57) p: 0.049; response rate (class 2 vs. class 1, 8% vs. 33%, odds ratio 0.17(0.02-1.41) p: 0.09, adj (for age, gender) p: 0.14)). WT PDXs and cell lines showed similar response (Wilcoxon test; PDXs p-value: 0.04; cell lines p-value: 0.007). The TA classes were further validated using microarray data from metastatic samples (Khambata-Ford; PFS p < 0.0001).


The detection of TA signature in primary or metastatic samples may further refine the selection of WT CRC pts for anti-EGFR therapy and may explain the differential benefit behind sidedness.

Clinical trial identification


Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The authors.


NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden and the ICR; Cancer Research UK, MedTech SuperConnector.


D. Cunningham: Research grant / Funding (institution): Amgen; AstraZeneca; Bayer; Celgene; MedImmune; Merck Serono; Merrimack; Sanofi. N. Starling: Research grant / Funding (institution): AstraZeneca; Verastem. A. Sadanandam: Research grant / Funding (institution): Bristol-Myers Squibb; Licensing / Royalties: PCT/IB2013/060416. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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