Independent validation of genes and polymorphisms reported to be associated with radiation toxicity: A prospective analysis study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Gillian C. Barnett
  • Charlotte E. Coles
  • Rebecca M. Elliott
  • Caroline Baynes
  • Craig Luccarini
  • Don Conroy
  • Jennifer S. Wilkinson
  • Jonathan Tyrer
  • Vivek Misra
  • Radka Platte
  • Sarah L. Gulliford
  • Matthew R. Sydes
  • Emma Hall
  • Søren M. Bentzen
  • David P. Dearnaley
  • Neil G. Burnet
  • Paul D P Pharoah
  • Alison M. Dunning


Background: Several studies have reported associations between radiation toxicity and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate genes. Few associations have been tested in independent validation studies. This prospective study aimed to validate reported associations between genotype and radiation toxicity in a large independent dataset. Methods: 92 (of 98 attempted) SNPs in 46 genes were successfully genotyped in 1613 patients: 976 received adjuvant breast radiotherapy in the Cambridge breast IMRT trial (ISRCTN21474421, n=942) or in a prospective study of breast toxicity at the Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK (n=34). A further 637 received radical prostate radiotherapy in the MRC RT01 multicentre trial (ISRCTN47772397, n=224) or in the Conventional or Hypofractionated High Dose Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer (CHHiP) trial (ISRCTN97182923, n=413). Late toxicity was assessed 2 years after radiotherapy with a validated photographic technique (patients with breast cancer only), clinical assessment, and patient questionnaires. Association tests of genotype with overall radiation toxicity score and individual endpoints were undertaken in univariate and multivariable analyses. At a type I error rate adjusted for multiple testing, this study had 99% power to detect a SNP, with minor allele frequency of 0·35, associated with a per allele odds ratio of 2·2. Findings: None of the previously reported associations were confirmed by this study, after adjustment for multiple comparisons. The p value distribution of the SNPs tested against overall toxicity score was not different from that expected by chance. Interpretation: We did not replicate previously reported late toxicity associations, suggesting that we can essentially exclude the hypothesis that published SNPs individually exert a clinically relevant effect. Continued recruitment of patients into studies within the Radiogenomics Consortium is essential so that sufficiently powered studies can be done and methodological challenges addressed. Funding: Cancer Research UK, The Royal College of Radiologists, Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust, Breast Cancer Campaign, Cambridge National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre, Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, East Midlands Innovation, the National Cancer Institute, Joseph Mitchell Trust, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Institute of Cancer Research NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Cancer. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-77
Number of pages12
JournalLancet Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012