Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms inCBLB, a Regulator of T-Cell Response, Predict Radiation Pneumonitis and Outcomes After Definitive Radiotherapy for Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

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We identified 393 patients with non–small cell lung cancer and genotyped 3 potentially functional single nucleotide polymorphisms ofCBLB. We found that patients with theCBLBrs2305035 AA/AG genotypes had better clinical outcomes but were at higher risk of developing severe radiation pneumonitis. The findings could assist in generating hypotheses for mechanistic studies of immunology and cancer treatment outcomes.


The immune system has important roles in tumor development and outcomes after cancer treatment. We evaluated whether single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene encoding casitas B-lineage lymphoma b protein (Cbl-b), an E3 ubiquitin ligase that maintains immune tolerance by negatively regulating T-cell activation and function, were associated with outcomes after treatment of non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Patients and Methods:

Samples from 393 patients with NSCLC treated with definitive radiotherapy at a single institution between March 1998 and February 2009 were used to genotype 3 potentially functional SNPs in CBLB (rs1042852 C>T, rs2305035 G>A, and rs7649466 C>G). We evaluated associations between these SNPs and local recurrence-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival, overall survival, and risk of radiation pneumonitis (RP).


Having the rs2305035 A variant genotypes (AA or AG) was associated with better local recurrence-free survival (median 15.8 vs. 15.3 months; adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60-0.98; P = .033), distant metastasis-free survival (median 15.4 vs. 14.0 months; adjusted HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.57-0.96; P = .024) and overall survival (median 23.5 vs. 22.8 months; adjusted HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.56-0.93; P = .013) after adjustment in a Cox proportional hazard model. Patients with these genotypes were also at greater risk of developing grade 3 or higher RP than were patients with GG genotypes in an adjusted Cox proportional hazard model.


This is the first report that rs2305035 genotypes in CBLB were associated with clinical and RP risk among patients with NSCLC treated with definitive radiotherapy. These findings could assist in generating hypothesis for further mechanistic studies.

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