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Skin inflammatory response and efficacy of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer (CUTACETUX)

Abstract : Anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody is a standard treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and its most common adverse effect is a papulopustular acneiform rash. The aim of the CUTACETUX study was to characterize the skin inflammatory response associated with this rash and its relation to treatment efficacy. This prospective study included patients with mCRC treated with first-line chemotherapy plus cetuximab. Patients underwent skin biopsies before the initiation of cetuximab (D0) and before the third infusion (D28), one in a rash zone and one in an unaffected zone. Expression of Th17-related cytokines (IL-17A, IL-21, IL-22), antimicrobial peptides (S100A7 and BD-2), innate response-related cytokines (IL-1 beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha and OSM), T-reg-related cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-beta), Th1-related cytokine (IFN-gamma), Th2-related cytokine (IL-4), Thymic stromal lymphopoietin and keratinocyte-derived cytokines (IL-8, IL-23 and CCL20) were determined by RT-PCR. Twenty-seven patients were included. Levels of most of the cytokines increased at D28 in the rash zone compared to D0. No significant association was observed between variations of cytokines levels and treatment response in the rash zone and only the increase of IL-4 (p = .04) and IL-23 (p = .02) levels between D0 and D28 in the unaffected zone was significantly associated with treatment response. Increased levels of IL-8 (p = .02), BD-2 (p = .02), IL-1 beta (p = .004) and OSM (p = .02) in the rash zone were associated with longer progression-free survival. Expression of Th2-related and keratinocyte-derived cytokines in the skin was associated with anti-EGFR efficacy. If this inflammatory signature can explain the rash, the exact mechanism by which these cytokines are involved in anti-EGFR tumor response remains to be studied.
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Contributor : Nathalie Katy Chanteloup <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 22, 2021 - 5:03:43 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 2:21:18 PM


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David Tougeron, Sheik Emambux, Laure Favot, Thierry Lecomte, Ewa Wierzbicka-Hainaut, et al.. Skin inflammatory response and efficacy of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer (CUTACETUX). OncoImmunology, Taylor & Francis, 2020, 9 (1), 15 p. ⟨10.1080/2162402X.2020.1848058⟩. ⟨hal-03149030⟩



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