Genetic variation in EPHA contributes to sensitivity to paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy

Lauren A. Marcath, Kelley M. Kidwell, Kiran Vangipuram, Christina L. Gersch, James M. Rae, Monika L. Burness, Jennifer J. Griggs, Catherine Van Poznak, Daniel F. Hayes, Ellen M.Lavoie Smith, N. Lynn Henry, Andreas S. Beutler, Daniel L. Hertz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Aims: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (PN) is a treatment limiting toxicity of paclitaxel. We evaluated if EPHA genetic variation (EPHA4, EPHA5, EPHA6, and EPHA8) is associated with PN sensitivity by accounting for variability in systemic paclitaxel exposure (time above threshold). Methods: Germline DNA from 60 patients with breast cancer was sequenced. PN was measured using the 8-item sensory subscale (CIPN8) of the patient-reported CIPN20. Associations for 3 genetic models were tested by incorporating genetics into previously published PN prediction models integrating measured paclitaxel exposure and cumulative treatment. Significant associations were then tested for association with PN-related treatment disruption. Results: EPHA5 rs7349683 (minor allele frequency = 0.32) was associated with increased PN sensitivity (β-coefficient = 0.39, 95% confidence interval 0.11–0.67, p = 0.007). Setting a maximum tolerable threshold of CIPN8 = 30, optimal paclitaxel exposure target is shorter for rs7349683 homozygous (11.6 h) than heterozygous (12.6 h) or wild-type (13.6 h) patients. Total number of missense variants (median = 0, range 0–2) was associated with decreased PN sensitivity (β-coefficient: −0.42, 95% confidence interval −0.72 to −0.12, P =.006). No association with treatment disruption was detected for the total number of missense variants or rs7349683. Conclusion: Isolating toxicity sensitivity by accounting for exposure is a novel approach, and rs7349683 represents a promising marker for PN sensitivity that may be used to individualize paclitaxel treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-890
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • breast cancer
  • genetic polymorphism
  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacogenomics
  • pharmacokinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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