PURPOSE: The DNA Damage Immune Response (DDIR) assay was developed in breast cancer (BC) based on biology associated with deficiencies in homologous recombination and Fanconi Anemia (HR/FA) pathways. A positive DDIR call identifies patients likely to respond to platinum-based chemotherapies in breast and oesophageal cancers. In colorectal cancer (CRC) there is currently no biomarker to predict response to oxaliplatin. We tested the ability of the DDIR assay to predict response to oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy in CRC and characterised the biology in DDIR-positive CRC. METHODS: Samples and clinical data were assessed according to DDIR status from patients who received either 5FU or FOLFOX within the FOCUS trial (n=361, stage 4), or neo-adjuvant FOLFOX in the FOxTROT trial (n=97, stage 2/3). Whole transcriptome, mutation and immunohistochemistry data of these samples were used to interrogate the biology of DDIR in CRC. RESULTS: Contrary to our hypothesis, DDIR negative patients displayed a trend towards improved outcome for oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy compared to DDIR positive patients. DDIR positivity was associated with Microsatellite Instability (MSI) and Colorectal Molecular Subtype 1 (CMS1). Refinement of the DDIR signature, based on overlapping interferon-related chemokine signalling associated with DDIR positivity across CRC and BC cohorts, further confirmed that the DDIR assay did not have predictive value for oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy in CRC. CONCLUSIONS: DDIR positivity does not predict improved response following oxaliplatin treatment in CRC. However, data presented here suggests the potential of the DDIR assay in identifying immune-rich tumours that may benefit from immune checkpoint blockade, beyond current use of MSI status.
Clin Cancer Res