Cetuximab is a chimeric antibody registered for the therapy of advanced colorectal carcinoma. Cancer and anticancer therapy are associated with oxidative stress, and disorders of antioxidant balance may be involved in the toxicity associated with anticancer treatment. The aim of the present study was to investigate the changes of serum retinol, alpha-tocopherol and C-reactive protein during the first month of treatment with cetuximab and chemotherapy. Twenty-five consecutive patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma treated with a combination of chemotherapy and 33balance ma cetuximab were included in the present study. Serum retinol and alpha-tocopherol were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography and serum C-reactive protein was determined using commercial kits. Significant correlation was observed between baseline concentrations of retinol and C-reactive protein (r(s)=-0.54, p<0.01). Median survival of patients who had baseline serum retinol below 1.25 μmol/L was 10 mo compared to 18 mo for patients who had serum retinol equal or above 1.25 μmol/L (p<0.05); median survival of patients who had serum C-reactive protein below 24 mg/L was significantly longer compared to patients with C-reactive protein levels equal or above 24 mg/L (18 vs. 7 mo, p<0.05), but no difference in survival was observed based on alpha- tocopherol levels. Twenty-two patients had evaluation of retinol, alpha-tocopherol and C-reactive protein at least once during the follow up. Serum concentration of alpha-tocopherol decreased significantly during the therapy, but retinol and C-reactive protein concentrations remained unchanged. In conclusion, a significant correlation was observed between serum retinol and C- reactive protein. Serum alpha-tocopherol decreased significantly during the first month of combination therapy with cetuximab. Low retinol and high C-reactive protein concentrations were predictive of poor prognosis in this patient population.
Serum retinol, alpha-tocopherol and systemic inflammatory response in metastatic colorectal carcinoma patients treated with combination chemotherapy and cetuximab