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Chemotherapies administered at normal therapeutic dosages can cause significant side-effects and may result in early treatment discontinuation. Inter-individual variation in toxicity highlights the need for biomarkers to personalise treatment. We sought to identify such biomarkers by conducting 40 genome-wide association studies, together with gene and gene set analyses, for any toxicity and ten individual toxicities in 1800 patients with advanced colorectal cancer treated with oxaliplatin and fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy ± cetuximab from the MRC COIN and COIN-B trials (385 patients received FOLFOX, 360 FOLFOX + cetuximab, 707 XELOX and 348 XELOX + cetuximab). SNPs, genes and gene sets that reached genome-wide or suggestive significance, were validated in independent patient groups. We found that MROH5 was significantly associated with neutropenia in MAGMA gene analyses in patients treated with XELOX (P = 6.6x10-7 ) and was independently validated in those receiving XELOX + cetuximab; Pooled P = 3.7x10-7 . rs13260246 at 8q21.13 was significantly associated with vomiting in patients treated with XELOX (OR = 5.0, 95% CI = 3.0-8.3, P = 9.8x10-10 ) but was not independently replicated. SNPs at 139 loci had suggestive associations for toxicities and lead SNPs at five of these were independently validated (rs6030266 with diarrhoea, rs1546161 with hand foot syndrome, rs9601722 with neutropenia, rs13413764 with lethargy and rs4600090 with nausea; all with Pooled P's 

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Cancer

Publication Date



GWAS, chemotherapy, colorectal cancer, toxicity