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BACKGROUND - There is the need to identify new prognostic markers to refine risk stratification for HER2-positive early breast cancer patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) with distant disease-free survival (DDFS) in patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer enrolled in the ShortHER adjuvant trial which compared 9 weeks versus 1-year trastuzumab in addition to chemotherapy, and to test the interaction between TILs and treatment arm.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - Stromal TILs were assessed for 866 cases on centralized hematoxylin and eosin-stained tumor slides. The association of TILs as 10% increments with DDFS was assessed with Cox models. Kaplan-Meier curves were estimated for patients with TILs ≥20% and TILs <20%. Median follow-up was 6.1 years.
RESULTS - Median TILs was 5% (Q1-Q3 1%-15%). Increased TILs were independently associated with better DDFS in multivariable model [hazard ratio (HR) 0.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.59-0.89, P = 0.006, for each 10% TILs increment]. Five years DDFS rates were 91.1% for patients with TILs <20% and 95.7% for patients with TILs ≥20% (P = 0.025). The association between 10% TILs increments and DDFS was significant for patients randomized to 9 weeks of trastuzumab (HR 0.60, 95% CI 0.41-0.88) but not for patients treated with 1 year of trastuzumab (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.71-1.12; test for interaction P = 0.088). For patients with TILs <20%, the HR for the comparison between the short versus the long arm was 1.75 (95% CI 1.09-2.80, P=0.021); whereas, for patients with TILs ≥20% the HR for the comparison of short versus long arm was 0.23 (95% CI 0.05-1.09, P = 0.064), resulting in a significant interaction (P = 0.015).
CONCLUSIONS - TILs are an independent prognostic factor for HER2-positive early breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and trastuzumab and may refine the ability to identify patients at low risk of relapse eligible for de-escalated adjuvant therapy.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology.
PURPOSE - Evaluation of [F]fluoromisonidazole ([F]FMISO)-positron emission tomography (PET) imaging as a metric for evaluating early response to trastuzumab therapy with histological validation in a murine model of HER2+ breast cancer.
PROCEDURES - Mice with BT474, HER2+ tumors, were imaged with [F]FMISO-PET during trastuzumab therapy. Pimonidazole staining was used to confirm hypoxia from imaging.
RESULTS - [F]FMISO-PET indicated significant decreases in hypoxia beginning on day 3 (P < 0.01) prior to changes in tumor size. These results were confirmed with pimonidazole staining on day 7 (P < 0.01); additionally, there was a significant positive linear correlation between histology and PET imaging (r = 0.85).
CONCLUSIONS - [F]FMISO-PET is a clinically relevant modality which provides the opportunity to (1) predict response to HER2+ therapy before changes in tumor size and (2) identify decreases in hypoxia which has the potential to guide subsequent therapy.
IMPORTANCE - Trastuzumab is a life-saving therapy but is associated with symptomatic and asymptomatic left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) decline. We report the cardiac toxic effects of a nonanthracycline and trastuzumab-based treatment for patients with early-stage human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (ERBB2, formerly HER2 or HER2/neu)-positive breast cancer.
OBJECTIVE - To determine the cardiac safety of paclitaxel with trastuzumab and the utility of LVEF monitoring in patients with node-negative, ERBB2-positive breast cancer.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS - In this secondary analysis of an uncontrolled, single group study across 14 medical centers, enrollment of 406 patients with node-negative, ERBB2-positive breast cancer 3 cm, or smaller, and baseline LVEF of greater than or equal to 50% occurred from October 9, 2007, to September 3, 2010. Patients with a micrometastasis in a lymph node were later allowed with a study amendment. Median patient age was 55 years, 118 (29%) had hypertension, and 30 (7%) had diabetes. Patients received adjuvant paclitaxel for 12 weeks with trastuzumab, and trastuzumab was continued for 1 year. Median follow-up was 4 years.
INTERVENTIONS - Treatment consisted of weekly 80-mg/m2 doses of paclitaxel administered concurrently with trastuzumab intravenously for 12 weeks, followed by trastuzumab monotherapy for 39 weeks. During the monotherapy phase, trastuzumab could be administered weekly 2-mg/kg or every 3 weeks as 6-mg/kg. Radiation and hormone therapy were administered per standard guidelines after completion of the 12 weeks of chemotherapy. Patient LVEF was assessed at baseline, 12 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES - Cardiac safety data, including grade 3 to 4 left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) and significant asymptomatic LVEF decline, as defined by our study, were reported.
RESULTS - Overall, 2 patients (0.5%) (95% CI, 0.1%-1.8%) developed grade 3 LVSD and came off study, and 13 (3.2%) (95% CI, 1.9%-5.4%) had significant asymptomatic LVEF decline, 11 of whom completed study treatment. Median LVEF at baseline was 65%; 12 weeks, 64%; 6 months, 64%; and 1 year, 64%.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE - Cardiac toxic effects from paclitaxel with trastuzumab, manifesting as grade 3 or 4 LVSD or asymptomatic LVEF decline, were low. Patient LVEF was assessed at baseline, 12 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year, and our findings suggest that LVEF monitoring during trastuzumab therapy without anthracyclines could be simplified for many individuals.
Tumor collagen characteristics influence tumor malignancy, invasion, and metastasis. This study investigates the effects of trastuzumab (Tz) on the collagen of Tz-responsive (BT474) and Tz-resistant (HR6) breast cancer xenografts. Collagen content was assessed by in vivo second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging and histological trichrome staining of tumor sections. Collagen SHG imaging of control BT474 and HR6 tumors demonstrated increased collagen density after 14 days of treatment (p < 0.05). Trichrome staining revealed decreased collagen in Tz-treated BT474 and HR6 tumors at 2, 5, and 14 days of treatment, suggesting that Tz affects the tumor microenvironment independent of epithelial cell response. Additionally, collagen alignment analysis revealed significantly less aligned collagen in the Tz-treated BT474 tumors at day 14 compared with control BT474 tumors. There was no correlation between SHG endpoints (collagen density and alignment) and trichrome staining (p > 0.05), consistent with the physically distinctive nature of these measurements. There was also no correlation between tumor size and collagen endpoints (p > 0.05). These results identify changes within the collagen compartment of the tumor microenvironment following Tz treatment, which are independent from the tumor cell response to Tz, and demonstrate that intravital collagen SHG imaging is capable of measuring dynamic changes in tumor microenvironment following treatment that complements trichrome staining.
© 2015 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Approximately 25% of breast cancers overexpress and depend on the receptor tyrosine kinase ERBB2, one of 4 ERBB family members. Targeted therapies directed against ERBB2 have been developed and used clinically, but many patients continue to develop resistance to such therapies. Although much effort has been focused on elucidating the mechanisms of acquired resistance to ERBB2-targeted therapies, the involvement of ERBB4 remains elusive and controversial. We demonstrate that genetic ablation of ERBB4, but not ERBB1-3, led to apoptosis in lapatinib-resistant cells, suggesting that the efficacy of pan-ERBB inhibitors was, at least in part, mediated by the inhibition of ERBB4. Moreover, ERBB4 was upregulated at the protein level in ERBB2+ breast cancer cell lines selected for acquired lapatinib resistance in vitro and in MMTV-Neu mice following prolonged lapatinib treatment. Knockdown of ERBB4 caused a decrease in AKT phosphorylation in resistant cells but not in sensitive cells, suggesting that ERBB4 activated the PI3K/AKT pathway in lapatinib-resistant cells. Importantly, ERBB4 knockdown triggered apoptosis not only in lapatinib-resistant cells but also in trastuzumab-resistant cells. Our results suggest that although ERBB4 is dispensable for naïve ERBB2+ breast cancer cells, it may play a key role in the survival of ERBB2+ cancer cells after they develop resistance to ERBB2 inhibitors, lapatinib and trastuzumab.
PURPOSE - The objective of this study was to evaluate 3'-deoxy-3'-[(18) F]fluorothymidine ([(18) F]FLT) positron emission tomography (PET) as an early marker of trastuzumab response in HER2-overexpressing xenografts.
PROCEDURES - Tumor-to-muscle ratios were compared between both trastuzumab-sensitive and trastuzumab-resistant cohorts prior to and after one and two treatments.
RESULTS - A significant difference (P = 0.03) was observed between treated and control trastuzumab-sensitive xenografts after one treatment, which preceded between-group differences in tumor volume. Reduced Ki67 (P = 0.02) and thymidine kinase 1 (TK1) (P = 0.35) immunoreactivity was observed in the treated xenografts. No significant differences in volume, tumor-to-muscle ratio, or immunoreactivity were observed between treated and control trastuzumab-resistant cohorts. A significant difference (P = 0.02) in tumor-to-muscle ratio was observed between trastuzumab-sensitive and trastuzumab-resistant cohorts after two treatments; however, tumor volumes were also different (P = 0.04). Ki67 (P = 0.04) and TK1 (P = 0.24) immunoreactivity was ~50 % less in trastuzumab-sensitive xenografts.
CONCLUSIONS - [(18) F]FLT-PET provided early response assessment in trastuzumab-sensitive xenografts but only differentiated between trastuzumab-resistant and trastuzumab-sensitive xenografts concurrent with differences in tumor size.
INTRODUCTION - Despite multiple advances in the treatment of HER2+ breast cancers, resistance develops even to combinations of HER2 targeting agents. Inhibition of PI3K pathway signaling is critical for the efficacy of HER2 inhibitors. Activating mutations in PIK3CA can overlap with HER2 amplification and have been shown to confer resistance to HER2 inhibitors in preclinical studies.
METHODS - Lapatinib-resistant cells were profiled for mutations in the PI3K pathway with the SNaPshot assay. Hotspot PIK3CA mutations were retrovirally transduced into HER2-amplified cells. The impact of PIK3CA mutations on the effect of HER2 and PI3K inhibitors was assayed by immunoblot, proliferation and apoptosis assays. Uncoupling of PI3K signaling from HER2 was investigated by ELISA for phosphoproteins in the HER2-PI3K signaling cascade. The combination of HER2 inhibitors with PI3K inhibition was studied in HER2-amplified xenograft models with wild-type or mutant PIK3CA.
RESULTS - Here we describe the acquisition of a hotspot PIK3CA mutation in cells selected for resistance to the HER2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor lapatinib. We also show that the gain of function conferred by these PIK3CA mutations partially uncouples PI3K signaling from the HER2 receptor upstream. Drug resistance conferred by this uncoupling was overcome by blockade of PI3K with the pan-p110 inhibitor BKM120. In mice bearing HER2-amplified wild-type PIK3CA xenografts, dual HER2 targeting with trastuzumab and lapatinib resulted in tumor regression. The addition of a PI3K inhibitor further improved tumor regression and decreased tumor relapse after discontinuation of treatment. In a PIK3CA-mutant HER2+ xenograft, PI3K inhibition with BKM120 in combination with lapatinib and trastuzumab was required to achieve tumor regression.
CONCLUSION - These results suggest that the combination of PI3K inhibition with dual HER2 blockade is necessary to circumvent the resistance to HER2 inhibitors conferred by PIK3CA mutation and also provides benefit to HER2+ tumors with wild-type PIK3CA tumors.
Abnormal cellular metabolism is a hallmark of cancer, yet there is an absence of quantitative methods to dynamically image this powerful cellular function. Optical metabolic imaging (OMI) is a noninvasive, high-resolution, quantitative tool for monitoring cellular metabolism. OMI probes the fluorescence intensities and lifetimes of the autofluorescent metabolic coenzymes reduced NADH and flavin adenine dinucleotide. We confirm that OMI correlates with cellular glycolytic levels across a panel of human breast cell lines using standard assays of cellular rates of glucose uptake and lactate secretion (P < 0.05, r = 0.89). In addition, OMI resolves differences in the basal metabolic activity of untransformed from malignant breast cells (P < 0.05) and between breast cancer subtypes (P < 0.05), defined by estrogen receptor and/or HER2 expression or absence. In vivo OMI is sensitive to metabolic changes induced by inhibition of HER2 with the antibody trastuzumab (herceptin) in HER2-overexpressing human breast cancer xenografts in mice. This response was confirmed with tumor growth curves and stains for Ki67 and cleaved caspase-3. OMI resolved trastuzumab-induced changes in cellular metabolism in vivo as early as 48 hours posttreatment (P < 0.05), whereas fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography did not resolve any changes with trastuzumab up to 12 days posttreatment (P > 0.05). In addition, OMI resolved cellular subpopulations of differing response in vivo that are critical for investigating drug resistance mechanisms. Importantly, OMI endpoints remained unchanged with trastuzumab treatment in trastuzumab-resistant xenografts (P > 0.05). OMI has significant implications for rapid cellular-level assessment of metabolic response to molecular expression and drug action, which would greatly accelerate drug development studies.