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Poster Display session 3

1322 - Detection of microRNAs as biomarker for anti-EGFR antibody resistance in colon cancer patients


30 Sep 2019


Poster Display session 3


Translational Research

Tumour Site


Jens Hahne


Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_5): v760-v796. 10.1093/annonc/mdz268


J.C. Hahne1, A. Lampis1, M. Ghidini2, M. Ratti2, M. Salati1, C. Senti2, R. Passalacqua2, L. Cascione3, C. Braconi1, O.J. Sansom4, M. Fassan5, N. Valeri1

Author affiliations

  • 1 Molecular Pathoilogy, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, SM2 5NG - Sutton/GB
  • 2 Oncology, Istituti Ospitalieri di Cremona, 26100 - Cremona/IT
  • 3 Bioinformatics, Institute of Cancer Research, Belinzola/CH
  • 4 Institute Cancers Sciences, Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, G61 1BD - Glasgow/GB
  • 5 Pathoology, University of Padua, Padua/IT


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Abstract 1322


Monoclonal antibodies against the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) such as cetuximab or panitumumab are used for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients. Unfortunately, most patients develop resistance against these therapies within months. Several studies have shown that aberrations in the RAS pathway are responsible for resistance. However, even in metastases that are refractory to anti-EGFR treatment a significant fraction of RAS wild-type (wt) cells remain. These findings suggest a cross-talk between RAS mutant and wt cells in mediating resistance in the wt compartment.


We used mouse and patient-derived organoids from mCRC as well as CRC cell lines to test the contribution of extracellular vesicles in mediating resistance in RAS wt cells. Using conditioned media, transfection experiments and liquid biopsies (plasma and urine) from patients differential expression of the let-7g microRNA was demonstrated in microvesicles from cetuximab sensitive and resistant cells. Changes in expression of the let-7g microRNA were further analysed by in-situ hybridization in tissues.


Basal let-7g expression from pre-treatment plasma and urine samples of RAS wt patients correlated with clinical outcome and changes in let-7g circulating levels mirrored clinical behaviour. In-situ hybridization in tissues confirmed changes in expression of the let-7g microRNA observed in plasma and urine samples.


Our data suggest that let-7g microRNA might function as a paracrine mediator of anti-EGFR resistance and might be exploited as a non-invasive biomarker of resistance to cetuximab treatment. Further work is ongoing to characterize the molecular mechanisms underpinning let-7g mediated effect on anti-EGFR sensitivity in RAS wt CRC cells.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The authors.


Has not received any funding.


N. Valeri: Speaker Bureau / Expert testimony: Bayer; Speaker Bureau / Expert testimony: Eli Lilly; Speaker Bureau / Expert testimony: Pfizer; Speaker Bureau / Expert testimony: Merck. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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