Genetic variant within CDK6 regulates immune response to palbociclib treatment

Everyone carries a set of genetic variants that contribute to regulation of the levels of blood cells, with unknown clinical impact. One of them, rs445 within the cell-cycle checkpoint gene CDK6, reduces the levels of myeloid cell types including granulocytes. We treated CD3+ T cells and whole blood with palbociclib in 41 individuals, who were stratified by genotype for analyses. In T cells we assessed cell cycle and apoptosis, whereas in whole blood, apoptosis in activated (CD11b+), unactivated (CD11b-) granulocytes, cytotoxic (CD8 + CD4-), and helper (CD8-CD4+) T cells. We find that rs445 modulates the immune response of CD8+ T cells. It also increases the level of apoptotic CD11b + activated granulocytes after palbociclib treatment, which, in synergy with neutropenia, may affect drug related adverse events. These results suggest that the effect of palbociclib treatment may depend on underlying genetically encoded individual immune response as well as the direct response to the drug.

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