The ability to predict early in the course of treatment the response of breast tumors to neoadjuvant chemotherapy can stratify patients based on response for patient-specific treatment strategies. Currently response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy is evaluated based on physical exam or breast imaging (mammogram, ultrasound or conventional breast MRI). There is a poor correlation among these measurements and with the actual tumor size when measured by the pathologist during definitive surgery. We tested the feasibility of using quantitative MRI as a tool for early prediction of tumor response. Between 2007 and 2010 twenty consecutive patients diagnosed with Stage II/III breast cancer and receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy were enrolled on a prospective imaging study. Our study showed that quantitative MRI parameters along with routine clinical measures can predict responders from non-responders to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The best predictive model had an accuracy of 0.9, a positive predictive value of 0.91 and an AUC of 0.96.
Physical examination (PE), mammography (MG), breast MRI, FDG-PET and pathologic evaluation are used to assess primary breast cancer. Their accuracy has not been well studied in patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Accuracies of each modality in tumor and nodal assessment in patients with T3/4 tumors receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy were compared.
45 patients of a prospective clinical trial studying T3-T4M0 tumors were included. Patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy: docetaxel/carboplatin with or without trastuzumab before and/or after surgery (depending on HER-2/neu status and randomization). Tumor measurements by PE, MG, and MRI and nodal status by PE and PET were obtained before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Concordance among different clinical measurements was assessed and compared with the tumor and nodal staging by pathology. Spearman corr (r) and root mean square error (RMSE) were used to measure the accuracy of measurements among all modalities and between modalities and pathological tumor size.
Comparing to the tumor size measured by PE, MRI was more accurate than MG at baseline (r 0.559, RMSE 35.4% vs. r 0.046, RMSE 66.1%). After neoadjuvant chemotherapy, PE correlated better with pathology than MG or MRI (r 0.655, RMSE 88.6% vs. r 0.146, RMSE 147.1% and r 0.364, RMSE 92.6%). Axillary nodal assessment after neoadjuvant chemotherapy showed high specificity but low sensitivity by PET and PE.
Findings suggested that MRI was a more accurate imaging study at baseline for T3/T4 tumor and PE correlated best with pathology finding. PET and PE both correctly predicted positive axillary nodes but not negative nodes.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer provides critical information about tumor response; how best to leverage this for predicting recurrence-free survival (RFS) is not established. The I-SPY 1 TRIAL (Investigation of Serial Studies to Predict Your Therapeutic Response With Imaging and Molecular Analysis) was a multicenter breast cancer study integrating clinical, imaging, and genomic data to evaluate pathologic response, RFS, and their relationship and predictability based on tumor biomarkers.
Patients and Methods
Eligible patients had tumors ≥ 3 cm and received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We determined associations between pathologic complete response (pCR; defined as the absence of invasive cancer in breast and nodes) and RFS, overall and within receptor subsets.
In 221 evaluable patients (median tumor size, 6.0 cm; median age, 49 years; 91% classified as poor risk on the basis of the 70-gene prognosis profile), 41% were hormone receptor (HR) negative, and 31% were human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive. For 190 patients treated without neoadjuvant trastuzumab, pCR was highest for HR-negative/HER2-positive patients (45%) and lowest for HR-positive/HER2-negative patients (9%). Achieving pCR predicted favorable RFS. For 172 patients treated without trastuzumab, the hazard ratio for RFS of pCR versus no pCR was 0.29 (95% CI, 0.07 to 0.82). pCR was more predictive of RFS by multivariate analysis when subtype was taken into account, and point estimates of hazard ratios within the HR-positive/HER2-negative (hazard ratio, 0.00; 95% CI, 0.00 to 0.93), HR-negative/HER2-negative (hazard ratio, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.97), and HER2-positive (hazard ratio, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.01 to 1.0) subtypes are lower. Ki67 further improved the prediction of pCR within subsets.
In this biologically high-risk group, pCR differs by receptor subset. pCR is more highly predictive of RFS within every established receptor subset than overall, demonstrating that the extent of outcome advantage conferred by pCR is specific to tumor biology.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy reduces tumor size prior to surgery in women with breast cancer. We assessed the ability of mammography and ultrasound to predict residual tumor size following neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
In a retrospective review of consecutive breast cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, residual tumor size estimated by diagnostic imaging was compared with residual tumor size determined by surgical pathology.
192 patients with 196 primary breast cancers were studied. Of 104 tumors evaluated by both imaging modalities, ultrasound was able to size 91.3%, however, mammography was able to size only 51.9% of tumors (chi-square, p<.001). Ultrasound also was more accurate than mammography in estimating residual tumor size (62/104 [59.6%] versus 33/104 [31.7%], p < .001). There was little difference in the ability of mammography and ultrasound to predict pathologic complete response (ROC= 0.741 versus 0.784).
Breast ultrasound was more accurate than mammography in predicting residual tumor size following neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Likelihood of a complete pathological response was 80% when both imaging modalities demonstrated no residual disease.
breast carcinoma; breast ultrasound mammography; neoadjuvant chemotherapy
Bevacizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody to VEGF, and the incorporation of bevacizumab to chemotherapy is one of the rapidly evolving areas in the treatment of breast cancer. Bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone improves progression-free survival and increases the response rate in first-line therapy for locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer. This approach has been and is still being evaluated for early breast cancer in neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings. Bevacizumab is well tolerated and has an established tolerability profile. Both tumor- and host-related biomarkers of bevacizumab activity, response and benefit are emerging from Phase I, II and III clinical trials. The biomarkers of benefit will ultimately help identify the subgroups of patients who specifically benefit from anti-VEGF therapy with bevacizumab.
bevacizumab; breast cancer; chemotherapy; clinical trials; first-line therapy; VEGF
A surgical resection is currently the preferred treatment for esophageal cancer if the tumor is considered to be resectable without evidence of distant metastases (cT1-3 N0-1 M0). A high percentage of irradical resections is reported in studies using neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery versus surgery alone and in trials in which patients are treated with surgery alone. Improvement of locoregional control by using neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy might therefore improve the prognosis in these patients. We previously reported that after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy with weekly administrations of Carboplatin and Paclitaxel combined with concurrent radiotherapy nearly always a complete R0-resection could be performed. The concept that this neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy regimen improves overall survival has, however, to be proven in a randomized phase III trial.
The CROSS trial is a multicenter, randomized phase III, clinical trial. The study compares neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery with surgery alone in patients with potentially curable esophageal cancer, with inclusion of 175 patients per arm.
The objectives of the CROSS trial are to compare median survival rates and quality of life (before, during and after treatment), pathological responses, progression free survival, the number of R0 resections, treatment toxicity and costs between patients treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery with surgery alone for surgically resectable esophageal adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Over a 5 week period concurrent chemoradiotherapy will be applied on an outpatient basis. Paclitaxel (50 mg/m2) and Carboplatin (Area-Under-Curve = 2) are administered by i.v. infusion on days 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29. External beam radiation with a total dose of 41.4 Gy is given in 23 fractions of 1.8 Gy, 5 fractions a week. After completion of the protocol, patients will be followed up every 3 months for the first year, every 6 months for the second year, and then at the end of each year until 5 years after treatment. Quality of life questionnaires will be filled out during the first year of follow-up.
This study will contribute to the evidence on any benefits of neoadjuvant treatment in esophageal cancer patients using a promising chemoradiotherapy regimen.
Breast cancer patients with a pathologic complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy were compared with nonresponding controls to evaluate associations among a pCR, survival outcomes, and sarcopenia as well as the combination of sarcopenia and a high body mass index (BMI). Overweight patients had a lower pCR rate and shorter progression-free survival time. Among patients with a normal BMI, the pCR rate was better in sarcopenic patients.
Overweight women diagnosed with breast cancer have greater recurrence and mortality risks. Recent studies in advanced cancer showed that the combination of sarcopenia and an overweight or obese body mass index (BMI) is associated with poor clinical outcomes.
To compare pathological complete response (pCR) cases with controls and evaluate associations among a pCR, survival outcome, and sarcopenia as well as the combination of both sarcopenia and a BMI ≥25 kg/m2.
Sixty-seven breast cancer patients with a pCR to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NC) were matched with controls who did not have a pCR to NC. Patients were matched by age, Black's nuclear grading system, clinical cancer stage, and estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor status. Body composition was analyzed using computed tomography images taken prior to NC.
BMI was associated with pCR. Among normal weight patients, the pCR rate was higher in sarcopenic patients and the progression-free survival (PFS) interval was significantly longer than in overweight or obese BMI patients. The death hazard was 2% higher for each unit higher skeletal muscle index and 0.6% higher for each unit higher visceral adipose tissue.
Overweight patients treated with NC had a lower pCR rate and shorter PFS time. Among patients with a normal BMI, the pCR rate was better in sarcopenic patients. More research is required to evaluate the negative impact of sarcopenic obesity on prognosis and the contributors to better response rates in operable, normal weight breast cancer patients with sarcopenia.
Breast cancer; Body composition; Clinical outcome
Capecitabine has proven effective as a chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer. Though several Phase II/III studies of capecitabine as neoadjuvant chemotherapy have been conducted, the results still remain inconsistent. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to obtain more precise understanding of the role of capecitabine in neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer patients.
The electronic database PubMed and online abstracts from ASCO and SABCS were searched to identify randomized clinical trials comparing neoadjuvant chemotherapy with or without capecitabine in early/operable breast cancer patients without distant metastasis. Risk ratios were used to estimate the association between capecitabine in neoadjuvant chemotherapy and various efficacy outcomes. Fixed- or random-effect models were adopted to pool data in RevMan 5.1.
Five studies were included in the meta-analysis. Neoadjuvant use of capecitabine with anthracycline and/or taxane based therapy was not associated with significant improvement in clinical outcomes including: pathologic complete response in breast (pCR; RR = 1.10, 95% CI 0.87–1.40, p = 0.43), pCR in breast tumor and nodes (tnpCR RR = 0.99, 95% CI 0.83–1.18, p = 0.90), overall response rate (ORR; RR = 1.00, 95% CI 0.94–1.07, p = 0.93), or breast-conserving surgery (BCS; RR = 0.98, 95% CI 0.93–1.04, p = 0.49).
Neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer involving capecitabine did not significantly improve pCR, tnpCR, BCS or ORR. Thus adding capecitabine to neoadjuvant chemotherapy regimes is unlikely to improve outcomes in breast cancer patients without distant metastasis. Further research is required to establish the condition that capecitabine may be useful in breast cancer neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Although the use of (neo-)adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients has resulted in improved outcome, not all patients benefit equally. We have evaluated the utility of an in vitro chemosensitivity assay in predicting response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Pre-therapeutic biopsies were obtained from 30 breast cancer patients assigned to neoadjuvant epirubicin 75 mg/m2 and docetaxel 75 mg/m2 (Epi/Doc) in a prospectively randomized clinical trial. Biopsies were subjected to a standardized ATP-based Epi/Doc chemosensitivity assay, and to gene expression profiling. Patients then received 3 cycles of chemotherapy, and response was evaluated by changes in tumor diameter and Ki67 expression. The efficacy of Epi/Doc in vitro was correlated with differential changes in tumor cell proliferation in response to Epi/Doc in vivo (p = 0.0011; r = 0.73670, Spearmańs rho), but did not predict for changes in tumor size. While a pre-therapeutic gene expression signature identified tumors with a clinical response to Epi/Doc, no such signature could be found for tumors that responded to Epi/Doc in vitro, or tumors in which Epi/Doc exerted an antiproliferative effect in vivo. This is the first prospective clinical trial to demonstrate the utility of a standardized in vitro chemosensitivity assay in predicting the individual biological response to chemotherapy in breast cancer.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the standard care for locally advanced breast cancer. Our study aimed at evaluating the feasibility of breast conversation surgery (BCS) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Patients and methods
Forty five patients had stage IIB (except those with T2N1 disease) and stage IIIA were selected to 3 cycles taxane-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Patient who had tumours ≤5 cm underwent a tentative BCS while patients who had tumour size >5 cm underwent radical surgery. Negative margin is essential for BCS. Adjuvant chemotherapy and 3-D radiotherapy ± hormonal treatment were given to all patients.
Thirty four patients had BCS. Response to chemotherapy was the only statistically significant factor which influences the BCS. Incidence of local recurrence was 5.9% for patients who had BCS at a median follow up 24 months.
Breast conservation is feasible in selected cases of locally advanced, non metastatic cancer breast. We recommend that patients who have tumour size ≤4 cm after chemotherapy are the best candidates for BCS.
Systemic treatment for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC: negative for the expression of estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor and HER2 amplification) has been limited to chemotherapy options. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy induces tumor shrinkage and improves the surgical outcomes of patients with locally advanced disease and also identifies those at high risk of disease relapse despite today's standard of care. By using pathologic complete response as a surrogate endpoint, novel treatment strategies can be efficiently assessed. Tissue analysis in the neoadjuvant setting is also an important research tool for the identification of chemotherapy resistance mechanisms and new therapeutic targets. In this paper, we review data on completed and ongoing neoadjuvant clinical trials in patients with TNBC and discuss treatment controversies that face clinicians and researchers when neoadjuvant chemotherapy is employed.
Reliable predictive and prognostic markers for routine diagnostic purposes are needed for breast cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We evaluated protein biomarkers in a cohort of 116 participants of the GeparDuo study on anthracycline/taxane-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy for operable breast cancer to test for associations with pathological complete response (pCR) and disease-free survival (DFS). Particularly, we evaluated if interactions between hormone receptor (HR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression might lead to a different clinical behavior of HR+/HER2+ co-expressing and HR+/HER2- tumors and whether subgroups of triple negative tumors might be identified by the help of Ki67 labeling index, cytokeratin 5/6 (CK5/6), as well as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1) expression.
Expression analysis was performed using immunohistochemistry and silver-enhanced in situ hybridization on tissue microarrays (TMAs) of pretherapeutic core biopsies.
pCR rates were significantly different between the biology-based tumor types (P = 0.044) with HR+/HER2+ and HR-/HER2- tumors having higher pCR rates than HR+/HER2- tumors. Ki67 labeling index, confirmed as significant predictor of pCR in the whole cohort (P = 0.001), identified HR-/HER- (triple negative) carcinomas with a higher chance for a pCR (P = 0.006). Biology-based tumor type (P = 0.046 for HR+/HER2+ vs. HR+/HER2-), Ki67 labeling index (P = 0.028), and treatment arm (P = 0.036) were independent predictors of pCR in a multivariate model. DFS was different in the biology-based tumor types (P < 0.0001) with HR+/HER2- and HR+/HER2+ tumors having the best prognosis and HR-/HER2+ tumors showing the worst outcome. Biology-based tumor type was an independent prognostic factor for DFS in multivariate analysis (P < 0.001).
Our data demonstrate that a biology-based breast cancer classification using estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), and HER2 bears independent predictive and prognostic potential. The HR+/HER2+ co-expressing carcinomas emerged as a group of tumors with a good response rate to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and a favorable prognosis. HR+/HER2- tumors had a good prognosis irrespective of a pCR, whereas patients with HR-/HER- and HR-/HER+ tumors, especially if they had not achieved a pCR, had an unfavorable prognosis and are in need of additional treatment options.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00793377
Background: Anti-angiogenesis is a promising therapeutic strategy for locally advanced breast cancer. We performed this phase II trial to evaluate the anti-angiogenesis and anti-tumor effect of rh-endostatin combined with docetaxel and epirubicin in patients with locally advanced breast cancer by dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging in 70 previously untreated locally advanced breast cancer patients.
Methods: The study population was randomly assigned to neoadjuvant chemotherapy with docetaxel and epirubicin (neoadjuvant chemotherapy group) or neoadjuvant chemotherapy combining rh-endostatin with docetaxel and epirubicin (neoadjuvant chemotherapy+rh-endostatin group). The anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor effects of both regimens were evaluated by serial dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and microvessel density measurements after final surgery.
Results: The results suggested a higher clinical objective response (90.9% vs. 67.7%, P = 0.021) and greater reductions in tumor size (67.2% vs. 55.9%, P = 0.000), Ki-67 proliferation index (32.79% vs. 12.47%, P = 0.000), tumor signal enhanced ratio (64% vs. 48%, P = 0.018), and Ktrans (67% vs. 39%, P = 0.026) in neoadjuvant chemotherapy+rh-endostatin group than those in neoadjuvant chemotherapy group. In addition, the microvessel density value in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy+rh-endostatin group was significantly lower than in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group (18.67 ± 6.53 vs. 36.05 ± 9.64, P = 0.000). Moreover, the microvessel density value was significantly correlated with Ktrans after neoadjuvant chemotherapy+rh-endostatin treatment (r=0.88, P = 0.00).
Conclusions: The neoadjuvant chemotherapy+rh-endostatin treatment significantly repressed angiogenesis in locally advanced breast cancer and synergistically enhanced the anti-tumor effect of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Serial dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging data including reductions in tumor size and Ktrans, could provide non-invasive evaluation for chemotherapeutic efficacy and, consequently, optimization of individual chemotherapy for locally advanced breast cancer patients.
breast cancer; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; rh-endostatin; microvessel density; dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the standard of care for patients with large, inoperable tumors or inflammatory breast cancer, but it is also increasingly considered for women with operable disease. Several randomized trials have demonstrated that anthracycline- and taxane-containing regimens in operable breast cancer were equally effective in terms of disease-free or overall survival regardless of whether they were administered postoperatively or preoperatively. Further neoadjuvant treatment allows for a higher rate of breast conserving surgery. Tumor responses in terms of pathologic complete remission after short-term chemotherapy will probably only serve as a surrogate marker for long-term outcome in some molecular breast cancer subtypes like the triple-negative, HER2-positive, and some luminal B subsets. Recent trials showed that in HER2-positive disease pCR rates were as high as 70% when 2 HER2-targeted agents were added to chemotherapy.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Pathologic complete remission; Molecular subtypes; HER2-positive breast cancer
Diffuse optical spectroscopic imaging (DOSI) non-invasively and quantitatively measures tissue haemoglobin, water and lipid. Pilot studies in small groups of patients demonstrate that DOSI may be useful for longitudinal monitoring and predicting breast cancer neoadjuvant chemotherapy pathological response. This study evaluates the performance of a bedside DOSI platform in 34 breast cancer patients followed for several months. DOSI optical endpoints obtained at multiple timepoints are compared with final pathological response. Thirty-six stage II/III breast cancers (34 patients) were measured in vivo with DOSI prior to, in the middle of and after the completion of pre-surgical neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Cancer therapies ranged from standard anthracyclines to targeted therapies. Changes in DOSI-measured parameters at each timepoint were compared against final surgical pathology. Absolute changes in the tumour-to-normal (T/N) ratio of tissue deoxyhaemoglobin concentration (ctHHb) and relative changes in the T/N ratio of a tissue optical index (TOI) were most sensitive and correlate to pathological response. Changes in ctHHb and TOI were significantly different between tumours that achieved pathological complete response (pCR) versus non-pCR. By therapy midpoint, mean TOI-T/N changes were 47±8 versus 20±5 per cent for pCR versus non-pCR subjects, respectively (Z=0.011). Changes in ctHHb and TOI scaled significantly with the degree of pathological response (non-, partial and complete). DOSI measurements of TOI separated pCR from non-pCR by therapy midpoint regardless of drug or dosing strategy. This approach is well suited to monitoring breast tumour response and may provide feedback for optimizing therapeutic outcomes and minimizing side-effects.
near-infrared; tissue spectroscopy; multiple scattering; therapeutic monitoring; photon migration; cancer imaging
Recombinant human endostatin (rh-endostatin) is a novel antiangiogenesis drug developed in China. Previous experiments have shown that rh-endostatin can inhibit the proliferation and migration of endothelial cells and some types of tumor cells. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy and safety profiles of combination therapy of rh-endostatin and neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer patients in a prospective, randomized, controlled, phase II trial.
Sixty-eight patients with core-biopsy confirmed breast cancer were allocated randomly to two groups to receive 3 cycles of intravenous administration of either neoadjuvant DE (docetaxel: 75 mg/m2, d1, epirubicin: 75 mg/m2, d1, every 3 weeks), or neoadjuvant DE combined with rh-endostatin (7.5 mg/m2, d1-d14, every 3 weeks). The primary end point was clinical response based upon Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, and the secondary end point was safety and quality of life.
All patients were assessable for toxicity and 64 (94.2%) were assessable for efficacy evaluation. The objective response rate was 67.7% for chemotherapy (n = 31) and 90.9% for rh-endostatin plus chemotherapy (n = 33) (P = 0.021). A retrospective subset analysis revealed that rh-endostatin was more effective in premenopausal patients and patients with ECOG score of zero (P = 0.002 and P = 0.049, respectively). Five patients in the rh-endostatin plus chemotherapy arm achieved pathologic complete response compared with 2 in the chemotherapy arm (P = 0.428). No significant difference was identified in quality of life score and side effects (P > 0.05).
The combination of rh-endostatin with chemotherapy produced a higher tumor response rate without increasing toxicity in breast cancer patients.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier, NCT00604435
Breast cancer; Recombinant human endostatin; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Clinical trial
Aims, results, advantages and possible disadvantages of preoperative chemotherapy (pCHT) for breast cancer are discussed in this review. Established chemotherapeutic regimens are described with respect to new drugs that are added to combinations now and in the future. Illustrating the potential of new components, trastuzumab and cytotoxic chemotherapy, were combined in neoadjuvant trials for the first time. This approach yielded impressing and unprecedented high pathological response rates. An overview regarding current neoadjuvant cytostatic and immunotherapy trials is given.
Established prognostic factors like axillary lymph-nodal status are altered during pCHT, which causes the need for new prognostic markers. The consequences of these changes for clinical decision making are demonstrated. It seems possible that the advances of gene array and protein expression profile technologies will lead to improved prognostic and predictive statements. Tumor tissue can be analyzed before during and after treatment in this regard recent studies investigating the response to specific, chemotherapeutics in correlation to molecular markers are reviewed. These approaches might enable us to identify chemoresistance of specific tumors. Furthermore pCHT allows testing of chemosensitivity in vivo in an early stage, which might lead to a more individualized cancer therapy.
We discuss radiotherapy after neoadjuvant therapy and the risk of local relapse after breast conserving surgery, which was made feasible by pCHT. It is shown how the evaluation of efficacy of new cancer drugs, using the neoadjuvant situation, can be done more rapidly than in the metastatic and adjuvant setting.
preoperative/neoadjuvant chemotherapy; breast cancer; local recurrence; prognostic factors; cancer biology
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer allows individual tumor response to be assessed depending on molecular subtype, and to judge the impact of response to therapy on recurrence-free survival (RFS). The multicenter I-SPY 1 TRIAL evaluated patients with ≥3 cm tumors by using early imaging and molecular signatures, with outcomes of pathologic complete response (pCR) and RFS. The current analysis was performed using data from patients who had molecular profiles and did not receive trastuzumab. The various molecular classifiers tested were highly correlated. Categorization of breast cancer by molecular signatures enhanced the ability of pCR to predict improvement in RFS compared to the population as a whole. In multivariate analysis, the molecular signatures that added to the ability of HR and HER2 receptors, clinical stage, and pCR in predicting RFS included 70-gene signature, wound healing signature, p53 mutation signature, and PAM50 risk of recurrence. The low risk signatures were associated with significantly better prognosis, and also identified additional patients with a good prognosis within the no pCR group, primarily in the hormone receptor positive, HER-2 negative subgroup. The I-SPY 1 population is enriched for tumors with a poor prognosis but is still heterogeneous in terms of rates of pCR and RFS. The ability of pCR to predict RFS is better by subset than it is for the whole group. Molecular markers improve prediction of RFS by identifying additional patients with excellent prognosis within the no pCR group.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10549-011-1895-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Breast cancer; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Molecular biomarkers; Pathologic complete response; Medicine & Public Health; Oncology
Background and Objectives. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) has been shown to be generally chemosensitive. We sought to investigate the utility of mammography (MMG), ultrasonography (US), and breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in predicting residual disease following neoadjuvant chemotherapy for TNBC. Methods. We identified 148 patients with 151 Stage I–III TNBC treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Residual tumor size was estimated by MMG, US, and/or MRI prior to surgical intervention and compared to the subsequent pathologic residual tumor size. Data were compared using chi-squared test. Results. Of 151 tumors, 44 (29%) did not have imaging performed prior to surgical treatment. Thirty-eight (25%) tumors underwent a pathologic complete response (pCR), while 113 (75%) had residual invasive disease. The imaging modality was accurate to within 1 cm of the final pathologic residual disease in 74 (69%) cases and within 2 cm in 94 (88%) cases. Groups were similar with regards to patient age, race, tumor size and grade, and clinical stage (P > 0.05). Accuracy to within 1 cm was the highest for US (83%) and the lowest for MMG (56%) (P < 0.05). Conclusions. Breast US and MRI were more accurate than MMG in predicting residual tumor size following neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with TNBC. None of the imaging modalities were predictive of a pCR.
To investigate the distribution of CD44+/CD24- cells in breast cancers in relation to tumor size before and after the administration of neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
CD44+/CD24- tumor cells obtained from breast cancer specimens were characterized in vivo and in vitro using tumor formation assays and mammosphere generation assays, respectively. The distribution of CD44+/CD24- tumor cells in 78 breast cancer specimens following administration of neoadjuvant chemotherapy was also evaluated using immunofluorescence assays, and this distribution was compared with the extent of tumor invasion predicted by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST).
In 27/78 cases, complete remission (CR) was identified using RECIST. However, 18 of these CR cases were associated with a scattered distribution of tumor stem cells in the outline of the original tumor prior to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. After neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 24 cases involved cancer cells that were confined to the tumor outline, and 21 cases had tumor cells or tumor stem cells overlapping the tumor outline. In addition, there were 6 patients who were insensitive to chemotherapy, and in these cases, both cancer cells and stem cells were detected outside the contours of the tumor volume imaged prior to chemotherapy.
CD44+/CD24- tumor cells may be an additional parameter to evaluate when determining the extent of breast cancer invasion.
Breast neoplasms; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Neoplasm invasion; Stem cells
Breast cancer is increasingly considered a heterogeneous disease. The aim of this study was to assess the differences between histological and receptor-based subtypes in breast-conserving surgery and pathological complete response (pCR) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
A consecutive series of 254 patients with operable breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy was analyzed. Tumors were classified according to their receptor status in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors (HER2-negative), triple-negative tumors, and HER2-positive tumors. The type of surgery feasible prior to neoadjuvant chemotherapy was compared with the actual surgery performed.
The overall increase in breast-conserving surgery was 37% (73 of 198). In patients with ductal and lobular carcinomas this increase was 41% (63 of 152, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.34–0.49) and 20% (7 of 35, 95% CI 0.10–0.36), respectively (P = 0.02). Half of the patients with lobular carcinoma had to undergo a secondary mastectomy because of incomplete resection margins. In ER-positive, triple-negative and HER2-positive tumors, the increase in breast-conserving surgery was 39% (42 of 109, 95% CI 0.30–0.48), 24% (11 of 45, 95% CI 0.14–0.38), and 45% (20 of 44, 95% CI 0.32–0.60) (P = 0.11). The pCR rate in ductal and lobular carcinomas was 12% (23 of 195) and 2% (1 of 42), respectively (P = 0.09). In ER-positive, triple-negative and HER2-positive tumors the pCR rates were 2% (3 of 138), 28% (16 of 57), and 18% (10 of 56), respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that the receptor-based subtype was the only significant predictor of pCR (P = 0.004).
In lobular tumors the benefit with regard to breast-conserving surgery of neoadjuvant chemotherapy is questionable. Although in ER-positive tumors the pCR rate is low, the increase in breast-conserving surgery was remarkable in ductal ER-positive tumors.
Locally advanced breast cancers are more prevalent in underdeveloped countries. Targeted therapy has been improved to identify hallmarks that are specific to these subtypes of tumors.
We aimed to prospectively assess the expression of Hypoxia inducible factor-1 α and vascular endothelial growth factor-C in locally advanced breast cancer patients.
Thirty women underwent incisional biopsies for the histopathological diagnosis of breast carcinoma and participated in neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The association of Hypoxia inducible factor-1 α and vascular endothelial growth factor-C with age, tumor size, histological grade, clinical staging, hormonal and axillary status, clinical and pathological response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors, and the presence of c-erbB-2 antigen was studied.
Hypoxia inducible factor-1 α expression and Vascular endothelial growth factor-C expression were observed in 66.7% and 63.3% of all patients, respectively, and were marginally associated with each other (p = 0.06). Among the studied variables, only positive axillary status was associated with the presence of HIF-1α (p = 0.02). Complete pathological response was significantly associated (p = 0.04) with the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-C prior to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
We concluded that Hypoxia inducible factor-1 α was associated with a poor prognosis and that vascular endothelial growth factor-C could be used as a predictive factor in locally advanced breast cancer patients with complete pathological response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Locally advanced breast cancer; HIF-1α; VEGF; Axillary lymph nodes; Immunohistochemistry
The limited information on predictors of locoregional recurrence (LRR) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NC) has resulted in controversy about the optimal use of adjuvant radiotherapy and the timing of sentinel lymph node biopsy.
Patients and Methods
We examined patterns and predictors of LRR as first event in combined analysis of two National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) neoadjuvant trials. NC was either doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide (AC) alone or AC followed by neoadjuvant/adjuvant docetaxel. Lumpectomy patients received breast radiotherapy alone; mastectomy patients received no radiotherapy. Pathologic complete response was defined as the absence of invasive tumor in the breast. Multivariate analyses were used to identify independent predictors of LRR. The primary end point was time to LRR as first event.
In 3,088 patients, 335 LRR events had occurred after 10 years of follow-up. The 10-year cumulative incidence of LRR was 12.3% for mastectomy patients (8.9% local; 3.4% regional) and 10.3% for lumpectomy plus breast radiotherapy patients (8.1% local; 2.2% regional). Independent predictors of LRR in lumpectomy patients were age, clinical nodal status (before NC), and pathologic nodal status/breast tumor response; in mastectomy patients, they were clinical tumor size (before NC), clinical nodal status (before NC), and pathologic nodal status/breast tumor response. By using these independent predictors, groups at low, intermediate, and high risk of LRR could be identified. Nomograms that incorporate these independent predictors were created.
In patients treated with NC, age, clinical tumor characteristics before NC, and pathologic nodal status/breast tumor response after NC can be used to predict risk for LRR and to optimize the use of adjuvant radiotherapy.
To determine whether functional proteomics improves breast cancer classification and prognostication and can predict pathological complete response (pCR) in patients receiving neoadjuvant taxane and anthracycline-taxane-based systemic therapy (NST).
Reverse phase protein array (RPPA) using 146 antibodies to proteins relevant to breast cancer was applied to three independent tumor sets. Supervised clustering to identify subgroups and prognosis in surgical excision specimens from a training set (n = 712) was validated on a test set (n = 168) in two cohorts of patients with primary breast cancer. A score was constructed using ordinal logistic regression to quantify the probability of recurrence in the training set and tested in the test set. The score was then evaluated on 132 FNA biopsies of patients treated with NST to determine ability to predict pCR.
Six breast cancer subgroups were identified by a 10-protein biomarker panel in the 712 tumor training set. They were associated with different recurrence-free survival (RFS) (log-rank p = 8.8 E-10). The structure and ability of the six subgroups to predict RFS was confirmed in the test set (log-rank p = 0.0013). A prognosis score constructed using the 10 proteins in the training set was associated with RFS in both training and test sets (p = 3.2E-13, for test set). There was a significant association between the prognostic score and likelihood of pCR to NST in the FNA set (p = 0.0021).
We developed a 10-protein biomarker panel that classifies breast cancer into prognostic groups that may have potential utility in the management of patients who receive anthracycline-taxane-based NST.
Breast Cancer; Functional Proteomics; Prognosis; Prediction
To evaluate the accuracy of a computer-aided evaluation program (CAE) of breast MRI for the assessment of residual tumor extent and response monitoring in breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Materials and Methods
Fifty-seven patients with breast cancers who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy before surgery and dynamic contrast enhanced MRI before and after chemotherapy were included as part of this study. For the assessment of residual tumor extent after completion of chemotherapy, the mean tumor diameters measured by radiologists and CAE were compared to those on histopathology using a paired student t-test. Moreover, the agreement between unidimensional (1D) measurement by radiologist and histopathological size or 1D measurement by CAE and histopathological size was assessed using the Bland-Altman method. For chemotherapy monitoring, we evaluated tumor response through the change in the 1D diameter by a radiologist and CAE and three-dimensional (3D) volumetric change by CAE based on Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST). Agreement between the 1D response by the radiologist versus the 1D response by CAE as well as by the 3D response by CAE were evaluated using weighted kappa (k) statistics.
For the assessment of residual tumor extent after chemotherapy, the mean tumor diameter measured by radiologists (2.0 ± 1.7 cm) was significantly smaller than the mean histological diameter (2.6 ± 2.3 cm) (p = 0.01), whereas, no significant difference was found between the CAE measurements (mean = 2.2 ± 2.0 cm) and histological diameter (p = 0.19). The mean difference between the 1D measurement by the radiologist and histopathology was 0.6 cm (95% confidence interval: -3.0, 4.3), whereas the difference between CAE and histopathology was 0.4 cm (95% confidence interval: -3.9, 4.7). For the monitoring of response to chemotherapy, the 1D measurement by the radiologist and CAE showed a fair agreement (k = 0.358), while the 1D measurement by the radiologist and 3D measurement by CAE showed poor agreement (k = 0.106).
CAE for breast MRI is sufficiently accurate for the assessment of residual tumor extent in breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy. However, for the assessment of response to chemotherapy, the assessment by the radiologist and CAE showed a fair to poor agreement.
Breast neoplasm; Chemotherapy; MR imaging; Computer-aided