Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) IL17F-rs9463772 represents a prognostic marker of long-term survival in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer, a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2016 has shown.1

Because there are no predictive or prognostic factors currently available to aid in the selection of patients with locally advanced rectal cancer to undergo multimodality treatment with neoadjuvant chemoradiation, radical surgery, and potentially adjuvant chemotherapy, researchers in Italy sought to identify immunogenetic markers of prognostic significance in this patient population.

For the study, researchers selected and analyzed a panel of 192 SNPs in 34 genes from 250 patients with locally advanced rectal cancer who received neoadjuvant therapy and followed up with for at least 24 months after radical surgery.

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Researchers identified 4 markers that were significantly associated with 2-year disease recurrence. IL17F-rs641701 (P = .002), IL17F-rs9463772 (P = .009), TGF-beta- rs9867701 (P = .020) were deemed to be risk factors for recurrence, while STAT3-rs8069645 was protective against recurrence (P = .025).

Researchers also found that IL17F-rs641701 (P = .003) and IL17F-rs9463772 (P = .002) were associated with poorer survival, whereas STAT3-rs8069645 was associated with improved survival (P = .003). Researchers further confirmed the prognostic impact of IL17F-rs9463772 on 10-year overall survival in a validation set (P = .045).

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“IL17F is a cytokine with onco-suppressing and anti-angiogenic effects, previously reported to be down-regulated in colorectal tumor as compared to healthy tissue,” the authors explained. “Although no functional data are available for the intronic rs9463772, it might be involved in the regulation of IL17F expression level affecting tumor prognosis.”


  1. Erika C, Dreussi E, Gagno S, et al. IL17F-rs9463772 independently predicts long-term outcome in locally advanced rectal cancer. Poster presentation at: AACR Annual Meeting 2016; April 16-20, 2016; New Orleans, LA.