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  • 1
    Keywords: CANCER ; CELLS ; EXPRESSION ; tumor ; carcinoma ; GENE ; GENE-EXPRESSION ; COMPLEXES ; BREAST-CANCER ; COMPARATIVE GENOMIC HYBRIDIZATION ; gene expression ; MUTATION ; METASTASIS ; SIGNALING PATHWAYS ; SOLID TUMORS ; PRIMARY TUMORS ; SUBTYPES ; GENETIC ALTERATIONS ; LYMPH-NODE METASTASES
    Abstract: Introduction: With the improvement of therapeutic options for the treatment of breast cancer, the development of brain metastases has become a major limitation to life expectancy in many patients. Therefore, our aim was to identify molecular markers associated with the development of brain metastases in breast cancer. Methods: Patterns of chromosomal aberrations in primary breast tumors and brain metastases were compared with array-comparative genetic hybridization (CGH). The most significant region was further characterized in more detail by microsatellite and gene-expression analysis, and finally, the possible target gene was screened for mutations. Results: The array CGH results showed that brain metastases, in general, display similar chromosomal aberrations as do primary tumors, but with a notably higher frequency. Statistically significant differences were found at nine different chromosomal loci, with a gain and amplification of EGFR (7p11.2) and a loss of 10q22.3-qter being among the most significant aberrations in brain metastases (P 〈 0.01; false discovery rate (fdr) 〈 0.04). Allelic imbalance (AI) patterns at 10q were further verified in 77 unmatched primary tumors and 21 brain metastases. AI at PTEN loci was found significantly more often in brain metastases (52%) and primary tumors with a brain relapse (59%) compared with primary tumors from patients without relapse (18%; P = 0.003) or relapse other than brain tumors (12%; P = 0.006). Loss of PTEN was especially frequent in HER2-negative brain metastases (64%). Furthermore, PTEN mRNA expression was significantly downregulated in brain metastases compared with primary tumors, and PTEN mutations were frequently found in brain metastases. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that brain metastases often show very complex genomic-aberration patterns, suggesting a potential role of PTEN and EGFR in brain metastasis formation
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22429330
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  • 2
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; proliferation ; MODULATION ; POTENT ; TYROSINE KINASES ; PHOSPHATIDYLINOSITOL 3-KINASE/MAMMALIAN TARGET ; RAPAMYCIN INHIBITOR ; MAMMARY-TUMOR ; DEPENDENCY ; NVP-BEZ235
    Abstract: ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Targeting receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) with kinase inhibitors is a clinically validated anti-cancer approach. However, blocking one signaling pathway is often not sufficient to cause tumor regression and the effectiveness of individual inhibitors is often short-lived. As alterations in fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) activity have been implicated in breast cancer, we examined in breast cancer models with autocrine FGFR activity the impact of targeting FGFRs in vivo with a selective kinase inhibitor in combination with an inhibitor of PI3K/mTOR or with a pan-ErbB inhibitor. METHODS: Using 4T1 or 67NR models of basal-like breast cancer, tumor growth was measured in mice treated with an FGFR inhibitor (dovitinib/TKI258), a PI3K/mTOR inhibitor (NVP-BEZ235) or a pan-ErbB inhibitor (AEE788) individually or in combination. To uncover mechanisms underlying inhibitor action, signaling pathway activity was examined in tumor lysates and transcriptome analysis carried out to identify pathways upregulated by FGFR inhibition. Anti-phosphotyrosine receptor antibody arrays (P-Tyr RTK) were also used to screen 4T1 tumors. RESULTS: The combination of dovitinib + NVP-BEZ235 causes tumor stasis and strong down-regulation of the FRS2/Erk and PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathways. P-Tyr RTK arrays identified high levels of P-EGFR and P-ErbB2 in 4T1 tumors. Testing AEE788 in the tumor models revealed that the combination of dovitinib + AEE788 resulted in blockade of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, prolonged tumor stasis and in the 4T1 model, a significant decrease in lung metastasis. The results show that in vivo these breast cancer models become dependent upon co-activation of FGFR and ErbB receptors for PI3K pathway activity. CONCLUSIONS: The work presented here shows that in the breast cancer models examined, the combination of dovitinib + NVP-BEZ235 or dovitinib + AEE788 results in strong inhibition of tumor growth and a block in metastatic spread. Only these combinations strongly down-regulate the FGFR/FRS2/Erk and PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathways. The resultant decrease in mitosis and increase in apoptosis was consistently stronger in the dovitinib + AEE788 treatment-group, suggesting that targeting ErbB receptors has broader downstream effects compared to targeting only PI3K/mTOR. Considering that sub-classes of human breast tumors co-express ErbB receptors and FGFRs, these results have implications for targeted therapy.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23343422
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  • 3
    Keywords: POPULATION ; HEALTH ; WOMEN ; VALIDITY ; CALIBRATION ; METAANALYSIS ; PREMENOPAUSAL ; CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION ; SEX-HORMONE CONCENTRATIONS ; DECAFFEINATED COFFEE
    Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Specific coffee subtypes and tea may impact risk of pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer differently. We investigated the association between coffee (total, caffeinated, decaffeinated) and tea intake and risk of breast cancer. METHODS: A total of 335,060 women participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Nutrition and Cancer (EPIC) Study, completed a dietary questionnaire from 1992 to 2000, and were followed-up until 2010 for incidence of breast cancer. Hazard ratios (HR) of breast cancer by country-specific, as well as cohort-wide categories of beverage intake were estimated. RESULTS: During an average follow-up of 11 years, 1064 premenopausal, and 9134 postmenopausal breast cancers were diagnosed. Caffeinated coffee intake was associated with lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer: adjusted HR = 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.82 to 0.98, for high versus low consumption; P trend = 0.029. While there was no significant effect modification by hormone receptor status (P = 0.711), linear trend for lower risk of breast cancer with increasing caffeinated coffee intake was clearest for estrogen and progesterone receptor negative (ER-PR-), postmenopausal breast cancer (P = 0.008). For every 100 ml increase in caffeinated coffee intake, the risk of ER-PR- breast cancer was lower by 4% (adjusted HR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.93 to 1.00). Non-consumers of decaffeinated coffee had lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer (adjusted HR = 0.89; 95% CI: 0.80 to 0.99) compared to low consumers, without evidence of dose-response relationship (P trend = 0.128). Exclusive decaffeinated coffee consumption was not related to postmenopausal breast cancer risk, compared to any decaffeinated-low caffeinated intake (adjusted HR = 0.97; 95% CI: 0.82 to 1.14), or to no intake of any coffee (HR: 0.96; 95%: 0.82 to 1.14). Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee were not associated with premenopausal breast cancer. Tea intake was neither associated with pre- nor post-menopausal breast cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Higher caffeinated coffee intake may be associated with lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Decaffeinated coffee intake does not seem to be associated with breast cancer.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25637171
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  • 4
    Keywords: SYSTEM ; PROGRESSION ; tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes ; OUTCOMES ; ANTITUMOR IMMUNITY ; ADJUVANT ; REGULATORY T-CELLS ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; SUPPRESSOR-CELLS ; PREDICT RESPONSE
    Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Tumor lymphocyte infiltration is associated with clinical response to chemotherapy in estrogen receptor (ER) negative breast cancer. To identify variants in immunosuppressive pathway genes associated with prognosis after adjuvant chemotherapy for ER-negative patients, we studied stage I-III invasive breast cancer patients of European ancestry, including 9,334 ER-positive (3,151 treated with chemotherapy) and 2,334 ER-negative patients (1,499 treated with chemotherapy). METHODS: We pooled data from sixteen studies from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), and employed two independent studies for replications. Overall 3,610 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 133 genes were genotyped as part of the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study, in which phenotype and clinical data were collected and harmonized. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression was used to assess genetic associations with overall survival (OS) and breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS). Heterogeneity according to chemotherapy or ER status was evaluated with the log-likelihood ratio test. RESULTS: Three independent SNPs in TGFBR2 and IL12B were associated with OS (P 〈10(-)(3)) solely in ER-negative patients after chemotherapy (267 events). Poorer OS associated with TGFBR2 rs1367610 (G 〉 C) (per allele hazard ratio (HR) 1.54 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22 to 1.95), P = 3.08 x 10(-)(4)) was not found in ER-negative patients without chemotherapy or ER-positive patients with chemotherapy (P for interaction 〈10-3). Two SNPs in IL12B (r(2) = 0.20) showed different associations with ER-negative disease after chemotherapy: rs2546892 (G 〉 A) with poorer OS (HR 1.50 (95% CI 1.21 to 1.86), P = 1.81 x 10(-)(4)), and rs2853694 (A 〉 C) with improved OS (HR 0.73 (95% CI 0.61 to 0.87), P = 3.67 x 10(-)(4)). Similar associations were observed with BCSS. Association with TGFBR2 rs1367610 but not IL12B variants replicated using BCAC Asian samples and the independent Prospective Study of Outcomes in Sporadic versus Hereditary Breast Cancer Study and yielded a combined HR of 1.57 ((95% CI 1.28 to 1.94), P = 2.05 x 10(-)(5)) without study heterogeneity. CONCLUSIONS: TGFBR2 variants may have prognostic and predictive value in ER-negative breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Our findings provide further insights into the development of immunotherapeutic targets for ER-negative breast cancer.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25849327
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  • 5
    Keywords: carcinoma ; HISTORY ; REPRODUCIBILITY ; POSTMENOPAUSAL WOMEN ; PREMENOPAUSAL WOMEN ; STEROID-HORMONES ; PERIOD ; PLASMA PROLACTIN
    Abstract: INTRODUCTION: The relationship between circulating prolactin and invasive breast cancer has been investigated previously, but the association between prolactin levels and in situ breast cancer risk has received less attention. METHODS: We analysed the relationship between pre-diagnostic prolactin levels and the risk of in situ breast cancer overall, and by menopausal status and use of postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) at blood donation. Conditional logistic regression was used to assess this association in a case-control study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, including 307 in situ breast cancer cases and their matched control subjects. RESULTS: We found a significant positive association between higher circulating prolactin levels and risk of in situ breast cancer among all women [pre-and postmenopausal combined, ORlog2 = 1.35 (95%CI 1.04-1.76), Ptrend = 0.03]. No statistically significant heterogeneity was found between prolactin levels and in situ cancer risk by menopausal status (Phet = 0.98) or baseline HT use (Phet = 0.20), although the observed association was more pronounced among postmenopausal women using HT compared to non-users (Ptrend = 0.06 vs Ptrend = 0.35). In subgroup analyses, the observed positive association was strongest in women diagnosed with in situ breast tumors 〈4 years compared to 〉/=4 years after blood donation (Ptrend = 0.01 vs Ptrend = 0.63; Phet = 0.04) and among nulliparous women compared to parous women (Ptrend = 0.03 vs Ptrend = 0.15; Phet = 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: Our data extends prior research linking prolactin and invasive breast cancer to the outcome of in situ breast tumours and shows that higher circulating prolactin is associated with increased risk of in situ breast cancer.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25887963
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  • 6
    Keywords: carcinoma ; WOMEN ; PROSTATE-CANCER ; CLINICAL-SIGNIFICANCE ; susceptibility loci ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; CONFER SUSCEPTIBILITY ; COMMON VARIANTS ; COHORT CONSORTIUM ; IDENTIFIES 2
    Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Breast cancer in situ (BCIS) diagnoses, a precursor lesion for invasive breast cancer, comprise about 20 % of all breast cancers (BC) in countries with screening programs. Family history of BC is considered one of the strongest risk factors for BCIS. METHODS: To evaluate the association of BC susceptibility loci with BCIS risk, we genotyped 39 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), associated with risk of invasive BC, in 1317 BCIS cases, 10,645 invasive BC cases, and 14,006 healthy controls in the National Cancer Institute's Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3). Using unconditional logistic regression models adjusted for age and study, we estimated the association of SNPs with BCIS using two different comparison groups: healthy controls and invasive BC subjects to investigate whether BCIS and BC share a common genetic profile. RESULTS: We found that five SNPs (CDKN2BAS-rs1011970, FGFR2-rs3750817, FGFR2-rs2981582, TNRC9-rs3803662, 5p12-rs10941679) were significantly associated with BCIS risk (P value adjusted for multiple comparisons 〈0.0016). Comparing invasive BC and BCIS, the largest difference was for CDKN2BAS-rs1011970, which showed a positive association with BCIS (OR = 1.24, 95 % CI: 1.11-1.38, P = 1.27 x 10(-4)) and no association with invasive BC (OR = 1.03, 95 % CI: 0.99-1.07, P = 0.06), with a P value for case-case comparison of 0.006. Subgroup analyses investigating associations with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) found similar associations, albeit less significant (OR = 1.25, 95 % CI: 1.09-1.42, P = 1.07 x 10(-3)). Additional risk analyses showed significant associations with invasive disease at the 0.05 level for 28 of the alleles and the OR estimates were consistent with those reported by other studies. CONCLUSIONS: Our study adds to the knowledge that several of the known BC susceptibility loci are risk factors for both BCIS and invasive BC, with the possible exception of rs1011970, a putatively functional SNP situated in the CDKN2BAS gene that may be a specific BCIS susceptibility locus.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26070784
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    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Molecular mechanisms leading to the adaptation of breast cancer (BC) cells to hypoxia are largely unknown. The anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1) is frequently amplified in BC; and elevated Mcl-1 levels have been correlated with poor prognosis. Here we investigated the pathophysiologic role of Mcl-1 in Her2-positive BC cells under hypoxic conditions. METHODS: RNA interference and a novel small molecule inhibitor, EU-5346, were used to examine the role of Mcl-1 in Her2-positive BC cell lines and primary BC cells (sensitive or intrinsically resistant to Her2 inhibitors) under hypoxic conditions (using a hypoxic incubation chamber). Mechanisms-of-action were investigated by RT-PCR, mitochondrial isolation, as well as immunoprecipitation/blotting analysis, and microscopy. The specificity against Mcl-1 of the novel small molecule inhibitor EU5346 was verified in Mcl-1(Delta/null) versus Mcl-1(wt/wt) Murine Embryonic Fibroblasts (MEFs). Proliferation, survival, and spheroid formation were assessed in response to Mcl-1 and Her2 inhibition. RESULTS: We demonstrate for a strong correlation between high Mcl-1 protein levels and hypoxia, predominantly in Her2-positive BC cells. Surprisingly, genetic depletion of Mcl-1 decreased Her2 and Hif-1alpha levels followed by inhibition of BC cell survival. In contrast, Mcl-1 protein levels were not downregulated after genetic depletion of Her2 indicating a regulatory role of Mcl-1 upstream of Her2. Indeed, Mcl-1 and Her2 co-localize within the mitochondrial fraction and form a Mcl-1/Her2- protein complex. Similar to genetically targeting Mcl-1 the novel small molecule Mcl-1 inhibitor EU-5346 induced cell death and decreased spheroid formation in Her2-positive BC cells. Of interest, EU-5346 induced ubiquitination of Mcl-1- bound Her2 demonstrating a previously unknown role for Mcl-1 to stabilize Her2 protein levels. Importantly, targeting Mcl-1 was also active in Her2-positive BC cells resistant to Her2 inhibitors, including a brain-primed Her2-positive cell line. CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrate a critical role of Mcl-1 in Her2-positive BC cell survival under hypoxic conditions and provide the preclinical framework for the therapeutic use of novel Mcl-1- targeting agents to improve patient outcome in BC.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26921175
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  • 9
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: P.I157T is a CHEK2 missense mutation associated with a modest increase in breast cancer risk. Previously, another CHEK2 mutation, the protein truncating c.1100delC has been associated with poor prognosis of breast cancer patients. Here, we have investigated patient survival and characteristics of breast tumors of germ line p.I157T carriers. METHODS: We included in the analyses 26,801 European female breast cancer patients from 15 studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. We analyzed the association between p.I157T and the clinico-pathological breast cancer characteristics by comparing the p.I157T carrier tumors to non-carrier and c.1100delC carrier tumors. Similarly, we investigated the p.I157T associated risk of early death, breast cancer-associated death, distant metastasis, locoregional relapse and second breast cancer using Cox proportional hazards models. Additionally, we explored the p.I157T-associated genomic gene expression profile using data from breast tumors of 183 Finnish female breast cancer patients (ten p.I157T carriers) (GEO: GSE24450). Differential gene expression analysis was performed using a moderated t test. Functional enrichment was investigated using the DAVID functional annotation tool and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). The tumors were classified into molecular subtypes according to the St Gallen 2013 criteria and the PAM50 gene expression signature. RESULTS: P.I157T was not associated with increased risk of early death, breast cancer-associated death or distant metastasis relapse, and there was a significant difference in prognosis associated with the two CHEK2 mutations, p.I157T and c.1100delC. Furthermore, p.I157T was associated with lobular histological type and clinico-pathological markers of good prognosis, such as ER and PR expression, low TP53 expression and low grade. Gene expression analysis suggested luminal A to be the most common subtype for p.I157T carriers and CDH1 (cadherin 1) target genes to be significantly enriched among genes, whose expression differed between p.I157T and non-carrier tumors. CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses suggest that there are fundamental differences in breast tumors of CHEK2:p.I157T and c.1100delC carriers. The poor prognosis associated with c.1100delC cannot be generalized to other CHEK2 mutations.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27716369
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