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  • 1
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hormone and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) receptors are the most important breast cancer biomarkers, and additional objective and quantitative test methods such as messenger RNA (mRNA)-based quantitative analysis are urgently needed. In this study, we investigated the clinical validity of RT-PCR-based evaluation of estrogen receptor (ESR1) and HER2 mRNA expression. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 1050 core biopsies from two retrospective (GeparTrio, GeparQuattro) and one prospective (PREDICT) neoadjuvant studies were evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR for ESR1 and HER2. RESULTS: ESR1 mRNA was significantly predictive for reduced response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in univariate and multivariate analysis in all three cohorts. The complete pathologically documented response (pathological complete response, pCR) rate for ESR1+/HER2- tumors was 7.3%, 8.0% and 8.6%; for ESR1-/HER2- tumors it was 34.4%, 33.7% and 37.3% in GeparTrio, GeparQuattro and PREDICT, respectively (P 〈 0.001 in each cohort). In the Kaplan-Meier analysis in GeparTrio patients with ESR1+/HER2- tumors had the best prognosis, compared with ESR1-/HER2- and ESR1-/HER2+ tumors [disease-free survival (DFS): P 〈 0.0005, overall survival (OS): P 〈 0.0005]. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that mRNA levels of ESR1 and HER2 predict response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and are significantly associated with long-term outcome. As an additional option to standard immunohistochemistry and gene-array-based analysis, quantitative RT-PCR analysis might be useful for determination of the receptor status in breast cancer.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23131391
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  • 2
    Abstract: Inhibition of the PD-L1 (CD274) - PD-1 axis has emerged as a powerful cancer therapy that prevents evasion of tumor cells from the immune system. While immunohistochemical detection of PD-L1 was introduced as a predictive biomarker with variable power, much less is known about copy number alterations (CNA) affecting PD-L1 and their associations with expression levels, mutational load, and survival. To gain insight, we employed The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets to comprehensively analyze 22 major cancer types for PD-L1 CNAs. We observed a diverse landscape of PD-L1 CNAs, which affected focal regions, chromosome 9p or the entire chromosome 9. Deletions of PD-L1 were more frequent than gains (31% vs. 12%) with deletions being most prevalent in melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer. Copy number gains most frequently occurred in ovarian cancer, head and neck cancer, bladder cancer, cervical and endocervical cancer, sarcomas, and colorectal cancers. Fine-mapping of the genetic architecture revealed specific recurrently amplified and deleted core regions across cancers with putative biological and clinical consequences. PD-L1 CNAs correlated significantly with PD-L1 mRNA expression changes in many cancer types, and tumors with PD-L1 gains harbored significantly higher mutational load compared to non-amplified cases (median: 78 non-synonymous mutations vs. 40, P = 7.1e-69). Moreover, we observed that, in general, both PD-L1 amplifications and deletions were associated with dismal prognosis. In conclusion, PD-L1 CNAs, in particular PD-L1 copy number gains, represent frequent genetic alterations across many cancers, which influence PD-L1 expression levels, are associated with higher mutational loads, and may be exploitable as predictive biomarker for immunotherapy regimens. (c) 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27106868
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  • 3
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: The PI3K/AKT pathway and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) aberrations are common in breast cancer. We investigated the correlation between phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA), PTEN, p4EBP1 (phosphorylated E4 binding protein 1), and pathologic complete response (pCR) in patients receiving neoadjuvant therapy. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We retrospectively evaluated PIK3CA, PTEN, and p4EBP1 protein expression in centrally HER2-positive patients (n = 181) who received epirubicin cyclophosphamide/trastuzumab followed by docetaxel/trastuzumab alone or concomitant/followed by capecitabine within the GeparQuattro study. PTEN was assessed using the automated quantitative immunofluorescence analysis and was analyzed as a dichotomic variable. p4EBP1 was assessed by immunohistochemistry and used as a continuous and dichotomic variable. RESULTS: p4EBP1 was available from 137, PTEN from 108, and PIK3CA genotype from 83 patients. Overall, the pCR rate in PTEN-low tumors was 27.6%, and in PTEN-high tumors, it was 57.1% (P = 0.010). pCR rates were not statistically different between PIK3CA wild-type and mutant (35% vs. 22%) or p4EBP1 IRS 〈/= 4 and IRS 〉 4 (39% vs. 33%). pCR rate was 57.1% (8/14) in PTEN-high/PIK3CA wild-type and decreased to 15.4% in PTEN-low/PIK3CA-mutant tumors (P = 0.023). In multivariable analysis adjusted for baseline parameters, PTEN independently predicted pCR in the following cohorts: overall [OR, 7.54; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.03-28.06; P = 0.003], PIK3CA wild-type (OR, 23.81; 95% CI, 1.75-324.05; P = 0.017), p4EBP1 IRS 〉 4 (OR, 11.53; 95% CI, 1.84-72.24; P = 0.009), and hormone receptor-positive (OR, 40.91; 95% CI, 2.93-570.44; P = 0.006). p4EBP1 was independently predictive for pCR in PIK3CA wild-type tumors (OR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.03-0.78; P = 0.025). CONCLUSIONS: The study showed the potential role of PIK3CA genotype, PTEN, and p4EBP in predicting pCR after anthracycline-taxane-based chemotherapy and anti-HER2 treatment. Clin Cancer Res; 22(11); 2675-83. (c)2016 AACR.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26758558
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  • 4
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: TP53 mutations are frequent in breast cancer, however their clinical relevance in terms of response to chemotherapy is controversial. METHODS: 450 pre-therapeutic, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded core biopsies from the phase II neoadjuvant GeparSixto trial that included HER2-positive and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) were subjected to Sanger sequencing of exons 5-8 of the TP53 gene. TP53 status was correlated to response to neoadjuvant anthracycline/taxane-based chemotherapy with or without carboplatin and trastuzumab/lapatinib in HER2-positive and bevacizumab in TNBC. p53 protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in the TNBC subgroup. RESULTS: Of 450 breast cancer samples 297 (66.0%) were TP53 mutant. Mutations were significantly more frequent in TNBC (74.8%) compared to HER2-positive cancers (55.4%, P 〈 0.0001). Neither mutations nor different mutation types and effects were associated with pCR neither in the whole study group nor in molecular subtypes (P 〉 0.05 each). Missense mutations tended to be associated with a better survival compared to all other types of mutations in TNBC (P = 0.093) and in HER2-positive cancers (P = 0.071). In TNBC, missense mutations were also linked to higher numbers of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs, P = 0.028). p53 protein overexpression was also linked with imporved survival (P = 0.019). CONCLUSIONS: Our study confirms high TP53 mutation rates in TNBC and HER2-positive breast cancer. Mutations did not predict the response to an intense neoadjuvant chemotherapy in these two molecular breast cancer subtypes.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27611952
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  • 5
    Abstract: PURPOSE: Modulation of immunologic interactions in cancer tissue is a promising therapeutic strategy. To investigate the immunogenicity of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) -positive and triple-negative (TN) breast cancers (BCs), we evaluated tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and immunologically relevant genes in the neoadjuvant GeparSixto trial. PATIENTS AND METHODS: GeparSixto investigated the effect of adding carboplatin (Cb) to an anthracycline-plus-taxane combination (PM) on pathologic complete response (pCR). A total of 580 tumors were evaluated before random assignment for stromal TILs and lymphocyte-predominant BC (LPBC). mRNA expression of immune-activating (CXCL9, CCL5, CD8A, CD80, CXCL13, IGKC, CD21) as well as immunosuppressive factors (IDO1, PD-1, PD-L1, CTLA4, FOXP3) was measured in 481 tumors. RESULTS: Increased levels of stromal TILs predicted pCR in univariable (P 〈 .001) and multivariable analyses (P 〈 .001). pCR rate was 59.9% in LPBC and 33.8% for non-LPBC (P 〈 .001). pCR rates 〉/= 75% were observed in patients with LPBC tumors treated with PMCb, with a significant test for interaction with therapy in the complete (P = .002) and HER2-positive (P = .006), but not the TNBC, cohorts. Hierarchic clustering of mRNA markers revealed three immune subtypes with different pCR rates (P 〈 .001). All 12 immune mRNA markers were predictive for increased pCR. The highest odds ratios (ORs) were observed for PD-L1 (OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.34 to 1.86; P 〈 .001) and CCL5 (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.23 to 1.62; P 〈 .001). CONCLUSION: Immunologic factors were highly significant predictors of therapy response in the GeparSixto trial, particularly in patients treated with Cb. After further standardization, they could be included in histopathologic assessment of BC.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25534375
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  • 6
    Abstract: Brenner tumors (BT) are rare ovarian tumors encompassing benign, borderline, and malignant variants. While the histopathology of BTs and their clinical course is well described, little is known about the underlying genetic defects. We employed targeted next generation sequencing to analyze the mutational landscape in a cohort of 23 BT cases (17 benign, 2 borderline, and 4 malignant) and 3 ovarian carcinomas with transitional cell histology (TCC). Copy number variations (CNV) were validated by fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and quantitative PCR-based copy number assays. Additionally, we analyzed the TERT promotor region by conventional Sanger sequencing. We identified 25 different point mutations in 23 of the analyzed genes in BTs and 10 mutations in 8 genes in TCCs. About 57% percent of mutations occurred in genes involved in cell cycle control, DNA repair, and epigenetic regulation processes. All TCC cases harbored TP53 mutations whereas all BTs were negative and none of the mutations observed in BTs were present in TCCs. CNV analysis revealed recurrent MDM2 amplifications in 3 out of 4 of the malignant BT cases with one case harboring a concomitant amplification of CCND1. No mutations were observed in the TERT promoter region in BTs and TCCs, which is mutated in about 50%-75% of urothelial carcinoma and in 16% of ovarian clear-cell carcinomas. In conclusion, our study highlights distinct genetic features of BTs, and detection of the triplet phenotype MDM2 amplification/TP53 wt/TERT wt may aid diagnosis of malignant BT in difficult cases. Moreover, selected genetic lesions may be clinically exploitable in a metastatic setting.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28639280
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  • 7
    Abstract: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is a central predictive biomarker in breast cancer. Inaccurate HER2 results in different laboratories could be as high as 20%. However, this statement is based on data generated more than 13 years ago and may not reflect the standards of modern diagnostic pathology. We compared central and local HER2 testing in a total of 1581 HER2-positive tumors from five clinical trials. We evaluated the clinical relevance for pathological complete response (pCR) and disease-free survival in a subgroup of 677 tumors, which received an anti-HER2 therapy. Over the period of 12 years, the discordance rate for HER2 decreased from 52.4 (GeparTrio) to 8.4% (GeparSepto). Discordance rates were significantly higher in hormone receptor (HR)-positive tumors (26.6%), compared to HR-negative tumors (16.3%, P〈0.0001), which could be explained by a different distribution of HER2 mRNA levels in HR-positive and HR-negative tumors. pCR rates were significantly lower in discordant tumors (13.7%) compared to concordant tumors (32.2%, GeparQuattro and GeparQuinto, P〈0.001). In survival analysis, tumors with discordant HER2 testing had a reduced overall survival (OS) in the HR-negative group (P=0.019) and a trend for improved OS in the HR-positive group (P=0.125). The performance of local HER2 testing was considerably improved over time and has reached a 92% concordance, which shows that quality initiatives in diagnostic pathology are working. Tumors with discordant HER2 testing had a reduced therapy response and different survival rates.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 29271415
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  • 8
    Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Recent data suggest that benefit from trastuzumab and chemotherapy might be related to expression of HER2 and estrogen receptor (ESR1). Therefore, we investigated HER2 and ESR1 mRNA levels in core biopsies of HER2-positive breast carcinomas from patients treated within the neoadjuvant GeparQuattro trial. METHODS: HER2 levels were centrally analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), silver in situ hybridization (SISH) and qRT-PCR in 217 pretherapeutic formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) core biopsies. All tumors had been HER2-positive by local pathology and had been treated with neoadjuvant trastuzumab/ chemotherapy in GeparQuattro. RESULTS: Only 73% of the tumors (158 of 217) were centrally HER2-positive (cHER2-positive) by IHC/SISH, with cHER2-positive tumors showing a significantly higher pCR rate (46.8% vs. 20.3%, P 〈0.0005). HER2 status by qRT-PCR showed a concordance of 88.5% with the central IHC/SISH status, with a low pCR rate in those tumors that were HER2-negative by mRNA analysis (21.1% vs. 49.6%, P 〈0.0005). The level of HER2 mRNA expression was linked to response rate in ESR1-positive tumors, but not in ESR1-negative tumors. HER2 mRNA expression was significantly associated with pCR in the HER2-positive/ESR1-positive tumors (P = 0.004), but not in HER2-positive/ESR1-negative tumors. CONCLUSIONS: Only patients with cHER2-positive tumors - irrespective of the method used - have an increased pCR rate with trastuzumab plus chemotherapy. In patients with cHER2-negative tumors the pCR rate is comparable to the pCR rate in the non-trastuzumab treated HER-negative population. Response to trastuzumab is correlated to HER2 mRNA levels only in ESR1-positive tumors. This study adds further evidence to the different biology of both subsets within the HER2-positive group.Introduction The human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is the prototype of a predictive biomarker for targeted treatment 12345678. International initiatives have established the combination of immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization as the current gold standard 910. As an additional approach determination of HER2 mRNA expression is technically feasible in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue 111213. Crosstalk between the estrogen receptor (ER) and the HER2 pathway has been suggested based on cell culture and animal models 14. Consequently, the 2011 St Gallen panel has pointed out that HER2-positive tumors should be divided into two groups based on expression of the ER 15.A retrospective analysis of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) B31 study has suggested that mRNA levels of HER2 and ESR1 might be relevant for the degree of benefit from adjuvant trastuzumab. By subpopulation treatment effect pattern plot (STEPP) analysis in ER-positive tumors, benefit from trastuzumab was shown to be restricted to those with higher levels of HER2 mRNA (S Paik, personal communication, results summarized in 15).In our study we evaluated this hypothesis in the neoadjuvant setting in a cohort of 217 patients from the neoadjuvant GeparQuattro trial 5. All patients had been HER2- positive by local pathology assessment and had received 24 to 36 weeks of neoadjuvant trastuzumab plus an anthracycline/taxane-based chemotherapy. For central evaluation we used three different methods, HER2 IHC, and HER2 silver in situ hybridization (SISH), as well as measurement of HER2 mRNA by quantitative real-time (qRT)-PCR 11.The primary objective of this analysis was to investigate if pathological complete response (pCR) rate in HER2-positive breast cancer would depend on the level of HER2 mRNA expression, with a separate analysis for HR-positive and -negative tumors. Central evaluation of the HER2 status showed that 27% of the tumors with HER2 overexpression by local pathology were HER2-negative. This enabled us to compare response rates in patients with HER2-positive and -negative tumors as a secondary objective.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23391338
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-07-17
    Description: Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate a modified EPclin test (mEPclin), a combination of EndoPredict (EP) score, post-neoadjuvant pathologic tumor size and nodal status, for predicting the risk of distance recurrence after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) in patients with residual estrogen receptor (ER)–positive/HER2-negative breast cancer. We also compared the prognostic power of the mEPclin with that of the CPS-EG score. Experimental Design: A total of 428 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor samples from GeparTrio and GeparQuattro studies were evaluated for mRNA expression of eight cancer-related and three reference genes. The mEPclin score was computed using a modified algorithm and predefined cut-off values were used to classify each patient at low or high risk. Primary endpoint was disease-free survival (DFS). Results: A higher continuous mEPclin score was significantly associated with increased risk of relapse [HR, 2.16; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.86–2.51; P 〈 0.001] and death (HR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.90–2.75; P 〈 0.001). Similarly, patients classified at high risk by dichotomous mEPclin showed significantly poorer DFS and overall survival compared with those at low risk. In contrast with CPS-EG, the mEPclin remained significantly prognostic for DFS in multivariate analysis (HR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.73–2.63; P 〈 0.001). Combining CPS-EG and other clinicopathological variables with mEPclin yielded a significant improvement of the prognostic power for DFS versus without mEPclin (c-indices: 0.748 vs. 0.660; P 〈 0.001). Conclusions: The mEPclin score independently predicted the risk of distance recurrence and provided additional prognostic information to the CPS-EG score to assess more accurately the prognosis after NACT in the luminal non-pCR patient population. Therefore, this approach can be used to select patients for additional post-neoadjuvant therapies. Clin Cancer Res; 24(14); 3358–65. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1078-0432
    Electronic ISSN: 1557-3265
    Topics: Medicine
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