No clinically useful target molecule has been identified for triple-negative (TN) breast cancer, i.e., estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2-negative phenotype, and its prognosis is poor. The aim of this study is to clarify the clinical and pathologic characteristics of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).
The study subjects, 87 women with TNBC, were a subset of patients operated at Kosin University Gospel Hospital from January 2000 to December 2005. We examined pathologic characteristics such as tumor necrosis, infiltrating border, lymphocytic infiltration, prominent nucleoli in TNBC. And we studied the correlation between TNBC and several factors related to pathologic morphology. Chi-squared tests were used for statistical analysis. Kaplan-Meier estimates are presented for the survival function, and differences in survival were analyzed using the log rank test.
Tumor necrosis was found in 51 patients (58.3%) in TNBC. And infiltrating border was found in 71 patients (81.0%). Also continuous lymphocytic distribution and prominent nucleoli was found in 31 patients (35.7%), 52 patients (59.7%), respectively. No association was detected between pathologic characteristics and other biological markers. Patients with tumor necrosis positive for TNBC didn't show shorter disease-free survival (P = 0.4490) or overall survival (P = 0.979) than patients without tumor necrosis.
These findings suggest that pathologic characteristics cannot be used to classify triple-negative breast cancer into only two subtypes with differing prognoses. But because our study is small size study, more abundant patients' dates will be needed to evaluate the morphologic characteristics' predictive role.
Triple negative breast cancer; Tumor necrosis; Lymphocytic infiltration; Prominent nucleoli
Although triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is associated with a poor prognosis, recent reports have indicated that a higher proportion of TNBC patients shows a pathological complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) than is the case for non-TNBC patients. The aim of this study was to identify markers that predict pCR to NAC in TNBC patients, and to clarify prognostic factors that affect the outcome of TNBC patients with residual disease (RD) after NAC. Among 44 TNBC patients who received anthracycline- and taxane-based combination NAC, we analyzed the relationship between pathological response and clinicopathological characteristics, including immunohistochemical parameters (cytokeratin 5/6, epidermal growth factor receptor, Ki-67, p53, breast cancer susceptibility protein 1 and topoisomerase IIα). We also assessed the prognostic impact on patients with RD by analyzing the correlation between disease-free survival (DFS) and clinicopathological parameters. Sixteen patients (36%) achieved a pCR and log-rank test showed that these patients had a significantly more favorable outcome than patients with RD (DFS, P=0.00184; overall survival, P=0.0080). Among the clinicopathological parameters examined, none was correlated with pathological response, with the exception of p53. Patients with immunohistochemical overexpression of p53 more frequently achieved a pCR than those without p53 overexpression (P=0.0484). In the patients with RD, the Cox proportional hazards model showed that the presence of lymphovascular invasion was significantly associated with shorter DFS (hazard ratio, 13.333; 95% CI 1.587–111.111; P=0.0171). p53 overexpression may be a key predictor of a favorable response to NAC. Since patients with RD, particularly those positive for lymphovascular invasion, had an extremely poor outcome, novel therapeutic approaches for these patients are warranted.
triple-negative breast cancer; p53; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; pathological complete response; basal-like
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterized by the lack of immunohistochemical staining for estrogen receptors (ER), progesterone receptors (PR), and lack of overexpression or amplification of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Our aim was to investigate the expression of transmembrane protease, serine 4 (TMPRSS4) in TNBC patients and its possible relationship to the outcome of the disease. A total of 72 TNBC patients and 109 non-TNBC patients who were diagnosed between 2003 and 2008 were enrolled in this study. Immunohistochemistry was used to compare the expression pattern of TMPRSS4 in TNBC and non-TNBC groups, and the prognostic significance was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression in TNBC patients. The rate of high expression of TMPRSS4 was significantly higher in TNBC group than that in non-TNBC group. High expression of TMPRSS4 was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis, histological grade, and tumor size. TNBC patients with high TMPRSS4 expression showed the poorer overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) than those patients with low TMPRSS4 expression. In multivariate analysis, only lymph node metastasis and TMPRSS4 expression were the independent prognostic factors for OS and DFS in TNBC. Our study provides evidence that TMPRSS4 expression is associated with lymph node metastasis, tumor size, and histological grade in TNBC patients, and also is an independent prognostic factor for TNBC.
transmembrane protease; triple-negative breast cancer; prognosis; immunohistochemistry
Currently, there is a debate as to whether triple negative breast carcinoma (TNBC) has a worse prognosis than non-TNBC. Our aim was to determine whether TNBC is a prognostic factor for survival.
We identified 1,048 Taiwanese breast carcinoma patients, of whom 167 (15.9%) had TNBC. Data used for analysis were derived from our cancer registry database for women with breast cancer who were diagnosed between 2002 January and 2006 December.
In the Kaplan-Meier analysis, tumor subgroup (TNBC vs. non-TNBC) was a prognosis factor related to 5-year overall survival. In the univariate analysis, tumor subgroup (TNBC vs. non-TNBC) was a significant factor related to 5-year overall survival, in addition to age, tumor size, lymph node, metastasis, grade, stage, estrogen receptor status, progesterone receptor status, and HER2 overexpression status. In the multivariate analysis, tumor subgroup was not a significant factor related to 5-year disease-free survival (DFS). In node-positive patients, tumor subgroup was a significant factor related to 5-year overall survival, in addition to age, tumor size, metastasis, and grade. In node-negative patients, tumor subgroup was not a significant factor related to 5-year disease-free survival and 5-year overall survival.
Our results indicated that TNBC patients in Taiwan have worse 5-year overall survival than non-TNBC patients. Notably, in node-positive patients, TNBC played a prognostic role in 5-year overall survival.
Expression of the estrogen receptor (ER), the progesterone receptor (PgR) or the human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) in tumors is a good prognostic marker for breast cancer patients. However, approximately 15–20% of breast cancer patients have triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC; negative for ER, PgR and HER2), and efficient therapeutic modalities for these patients are under investigation. We focused on thymidine phosphorylase (TP), an enzyme metabolizing 5′-DFUR, an intermediate of capecitabine, to 5-fluorouracil in order to investigate the application of well-known therapeutics for TNBC. Results of a gene expression analysis showed that TP expression in TNBC and basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) was higher than that of other subtypes. Immunohistochemically, the high expression of TP in TNBC and BLBC reflected expression in stromal but not tumor cells. Notably, a high TP expression was observed in the stromal cells of EGFR- and/or CK5/6-positive breast tumors. Our present results showing a high expression of TP in BLBC indicate that capecitabine-based chemotherapy would be of benefit for patients with TNBC.
thymidine phosphorylase; estrogen receptor; human epidermal growth factor receptor-2; basal-like breast tumor
Triple-negative breast cancer (estrogen receptor-, progesterone receptor-, and HER2-negative) (TNBC) is a high risk breast cancer that lacks specific therapy targeting these proteins.
We studied 969 consecutive Japanese patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer from January 1981 to December 2003, and selected TNBCs based on the immunohistochemical data. Analyses of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations and amplification, and BRCA1 mRNA expression were performed on these samples using TaqMan PCR assays. The prognostic significance of TNBCs was also explored. Median follow-up was 8.3 years.
A total of 110 (11.3%) patients had TNBCs in our series. Genotyping of the EGFR gene was performed to detect 14 known EGFR mutations, but none was identified. However, EGFR gene copy number was increased in 21% of TNBCs, while only 2% of ER- and PgR-positive, HER2-negative tumors showed slightly increased EGFR gene copy numbers. Thirty-one percent of TNBCs stained positive for EGFR protein by immunohistochemistry. BRCA1 mRNA expression was also decreased in TNBCs compared with controls. Triple negativity was significantly associated with grade 3 tumors, TP53 protein accumulation, and high Ki67 expression. TNBC patients had shorter disease-free survival than non-TNBC in node-negative breast cancers.
TNBCs have an aggressive clinical course, and EGFR and BRCA1 might be candidate therapeutic targets in this disease.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which is characterized by negativity for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), is a high risk breast cancer that lacks specific targets for treatment selection. Chemotherapy is, therefore, the primary systemic modality used in the treatment of this disease, but reliable parameters to predict the chemosensitivity of TNBC have not been clinically available.
A total of 190 TNBC patients who had undergone a curative resection of a primary breast cancer were enrolled. The adjuvant chemotherapy was performed for 138 (73%) of 190 TNBC cases; 60 cases had an anthracyclin-based regimen and 78 a 5-fluorouracil-based regimen. The prognostic value of E-cadherin, Ki67 and p53 expression in the outcome of TNBC patients with adjuvant chemotherapy was evaluated by immunohistochemistry.
The adjuvant therapy group, especially those with Stage II TNBC, had a more favorable prognosis than the surgery only group (P = 0.0043), while there was no significant difference in prognosis between the anthracyclin-based regimen and 5-fluorouracil-based regimen. Patients with E-cadherin-negative and Ki67-positive expression showed significantly worse overall survival time than those with either E-cadherin-positive or Ki67-negative expression (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that the combination of E-cadherin-negative and Ki67-positive expression was strongly predictive of poor overall survival (P = 0.004) in TNBC patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. In contrast, p53 status was not a specific prognostic factor.
Adjuvant therapy is beneficial for Stage II TNBC patients. The combination of E-cadherin and Ki67 status might be a useful prognostic marker indicating the need for adjuvant chemotherapy in Stage II TNBC patients.
chemosensitivity; E-cadherin; Ki67; predictive marker; triple-negative breast cancer
Although most patients with stage I breast cancer have a good prognosis, their clinical outcomes may vary significantly. We assessed clinical outcomes and prognostic factors in stage I breast cancer patients with and without triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) phenotype.
Of 2,489 patients undergoing breast cancer surgery between January 1998 and December 2002, 554 (22.3%) had stage I breast cancer (tumor size ≤2 cm, and lymph node-negative). TNBC was defined as a primary tumor negative for estrogen and progesterone receptors (Allred scores <3/8) and for HER2/neu (0-1+ by immunohistochemistry).
Of the 554 patients with stage I breast cancer, 78 (14.1%) had TNBC. A significant proportion of TNBC patients had histologic grade 3 tumors (47.4% vs. 34.5%, p=0.031) and tumors >1 cm (87.2% vs. 75.8%, p=0.028) and received adjuvant chemotherapy (79.5% vs. 44.7%, p<0.001). During a median follow-up time of 8.7 years, 72 patients experienced tumor recurrences; 18 (23.1%) in the TNBC group and 54 (11.3%) in the non-TNBC group (p=0.010), with cumulative 3-year rate of recurrence of 12.8% and 5.3%, respectively (p=0.010). Ten-year relapse-free survival (RFS; 75.6% vs. 87.5%, p=0.004) and overall survival (OS; 83.0% vs. 91.4%, p=0.002) rates were significantly lower in the TNBC group. Multivariate analysis showed that triple negativity and histologic grade were independent predictors of shorter RFS and OS.
TNBC had more aggressive clinicopathologic characteristics and was associated with poorer survival in patients with stage I breast cancer. More intensive adjuvant chemotherapy or a different therapeutic strategy targeting this population is warranted.
Breast neoplasms; HER2/neu; Prognosis
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), as defined by the absence of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression, is a challenging disease with the poorest prognosis of all breast cancer subtypes. Importantly, there are currently no known molecular targets for this subgroup of patients. Recent advances in genomics and gene expression profiling have shed new light on the molecule heterogeneity of TNBC. We present an overview of the scientific evidence suggesting that clinical outcome in TNBC is affected by tumor-infiltrating immune cells. We also describe tumor-associated antigens recently identified in TNBC. Finally, we review the current literature on promising immunotherapies for TNBC, including tumor vaccine approaches, immune-checkpoint inhibitors, antagonists of immunosuppressive molecules and adoptive cell therapies. It is our contention that selected patients with TNBC with lymphocytic tumor infiltrates at diagnosis may benefit from immune-based therapies and that these immunotherapies will be most beneficial in combination with cytotoxic drugs that potentiate adaptive anti-tumor immunity.
basal like; breast cancer; immunotherapy; T cell
Patients with triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) typically have a poor prognosis. TNBCs are characterized by their resistance to apoptosis, aggressive cellular proliferation, migration and invasion, and currently lack molecular markers and effective targeted therapy. Recently, miR-221/miR-222 have been shown to regulate ERα expression and ERα-mediated signaling in luminal breast cancer cells, and also to promote EMT in TNBCs. In this study, we characterized the role of miR-221 in a panel of TNBCs as compared to other breast cancer types. miR-221 knockdown not only blocked cell cycle progression, induced cell apoptosis, and inhibited cell proliferation in-vitro but it also inhibited in-vivo tumor growth by targeting p27kip1. Furthermore, miR-221 knockdown inhibited cell migration and invasion by altering E-cadherin expression, and its regulatory transcription factors Snail and Slug in human TNBC cell lines. Therefore, miR-221 functions as an oncogene and is essential in regulating tumorigenesis in TNBCs both in vitro as well as in vivo.
Background and Purpose: Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is defined by a lack of expression of the steroid hormone receptors (oestrogen and progesterone), and the human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2). It is characterized by distinct molecular, histological and clinical features. It is a high risk breast cancer that lacks the benefit of a specific therapy.
Our study was aimed at pathologically illustrating triple-negative breast carcinoma and at evaluating the expression of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) ,cytokeratin 5/6 (CK 5/6) and Ki-67 among triple-negative breast cancer cases. Further, we aimed to probe whether triple–negative phenotype could be a surrogate marker for the basal phenotype and to correlate the expression of the basal markers (CK 5/6 and EGFR) with the clinico-pathological prognostic parameters.
Methods: The expression of EGFR, CK 5/6 and Ki-67 were studied by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 50 triple-negative breast cancer cases.
Statistical Analysis: A statistical analysis was implemented by using the SPSS version 20.0. The Chi-square test was conducted to assess the relationship between the immunohistochemical markers and other variables. The Fischer exact test was used when the expected cell counts were less than 5.
Results: The women with triple-negative breast cancer were younger, with the adverse pathological characteristics of a high tumour grade, tumour necrosis, frequent nodal metastases and high proliferation. 37 (74%) of the 50 triple-negative breast carcinomas showed the expression of the basal markers (EGFR and /or CK 5/6). We observed a statistically significant association between the basal marker expression and the presence of tumour necrosis.
Conclusion: The triple-negative breast cancers in our population harbour adverse pathobiological features and a five marker immunohistochemical panel can be reliably used to define the basal-like cancers. The “Triple-negative” status cannot be used as a surrogate for the “basal marker expression”.
Breast cancer; Triple-negative; Basal-like; EGFR; CK 5/6
Women with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) have a worse prognosis compared with other breast cancer subtypes. Hormonal or Herceptin-based therapies were found to be ineffective because of the loss of target receptors such as ER, PR and HER-2 amplification. Conventional chemo- and/ or radiation therapy also seems to have limited efficacy in TNBC patients. We studied the effects of cisplatin plus TRAIL on one normal and two TNBC cells in vitro. The in vitro studies indicate that cisplatin plus TRAIL significantly enhanced cell death in TNBC cell lines CRL2335 and MDA-MB-468 by ~60–70% compared to ~ 10–15% in CRL8799 normal breast cell line. Treatment with cisplatin/TRAIL also inhibited the expression of EGFR, p63, survivin, Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL in TNBC cells. Specific inhibition of EGFR and/or p63 protein in TNBC cells by siRNA does not increase TRAIL-induced apoptosis. However, inhibition of survivin by siRNA enhances TRAIL-induced apoptosis. These observations suggested the possibility that Survivin played an important role in cisplatin plus TRAIL-induced apoptosis in TNBC cells. In vivo experiments, treatment of mice with cisplatin plus TRAIL resulted in a significant inhibition of CRL2335 xenograft tumors compared to untreated control tumors. Taken together the data suggests that cisplatin plus TRAIL treatment have the potential of providing a new strategy for improving the therapeutic outcome in TNBC patients.
Triple-negative breast cancer; Caspase-3; cisplatin; TRAIL; Apoptosis
Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are notoriously difficult to treat because they lack hormone receptors and have limited targeted therapies. Recently, we demonstrated that p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK) is essential for TNBC growth and survival indicating it as a target for therapeutic development. RSK phosphorylates Y-box binding protein-1 (YB-1), an oncogenic transcription/translation factor, highly expressed in TNBC (~70% of cases) and associated with poor prognosis, drug resistance and tumor initiation. YB-1 regulates the tumor-initiating cell markers, CD44 and CD49f however its role in Notch signaling has not been explored. We sought to identify novel chemical entities with RSK inhibitory activity. The Prestwick Chemical Library of 1120 off-patent drugs was screened for RSK inhibitors using both in vitro kinase assays and molecular docking. The lead candidate, luteolin, inhibited RSK1 and RSK2 kinase activity and suppressed growth in TNBC, including TIC-enriched populations. Combining luteolin with paclitaxel increased cell death and unlike chemotherapy alone, did not enrich for CD44+ cells. Luteolin’s efficacy against drug-resistant cells was further indicated in the primary x43 cell line, where it suppressed monolayer growth and mammosphere formation. We next endeavored to understand how the inhibition of RSK/YB-1 signaling by luteolin elicited an effect on TIC-enriched populations. ChIP-on-ChIP experiments in SUM149 cells revealed a 12-fold enrichment of YB-1 binding to the Notch4 promoter. We chose to pursue this because there are several reports indicating that Notch4 maintains cells in an undifferentiated, TIC state. Herein we report that silencing YB-1 with siRNA decreased Notch4 mRNA. Conversely, transient expression of Flag:YB-1WT or the constitutively active mutant Flag:YB-1D102 increased Notch4 mRNA. The levels of Notch4 transcript and the abundance of the Notch4 intracellular domain (N4ICD) correlated with activation of P-RSKS221/7 and P-YB-1S102 in a panel of TNBC cell lines. Silencing YB-1 or RSK reduced Notch4 mRNA and this corresponded with loss of N4ICD. Likewise, the RSK inhibitors, luteolin and BI-D1870, suppressed P-YB-1 S102 and thereby reduced Notch4. In conclusion, inhibiting the RSK/YB-1 pathway with luteolin is a novel approach to blocking Notch4 signaling and as such provides a means of inhibiting TICs.
Triple-negative breast cancer; p90 ribosomal S6 kinase; Y-box binding protein-1; tumor-initiating cells; drug repositioning
Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays an important role in many biological processes. The latest studies revealed that aggressive breast cancer, especially the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype was frequently associated with apparent EMT, but the mechanisms are still unclear. NEDD9/HEF1/Cas-L is a member of the Cas protein family and was identified as a metastasis marker in multiple cancer types. In this study, we wished to discern the role of NEDD9 in breast cancer progression and to investigate the molecular mechanism by which NEDD9 regulates EMT and promotes invasion in triple-negative breast cancer. We showed that expression of NEDD9 was frequently upregulated in TNBC cell lines, and in aggressive breast tumors, especially in TNBC subtype. Knockdown of endogenous NEDD9 reduced the migration, invasion and proliferation of TNBC cells. Moreover, ectopic overexpression of NEDD9 in mammary epithelial cells led to a string of events including the trigger of EMT, activation of ERK signaling, increase of several EMT-inducing transcription factors and promotion of their interactions with the E-cadherin promoter. Data presented in this report contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms by which NEDD9 promotes EMT, and provide useful clues to the evaluation of the potential of NEDD9 as a responsive molecular target for TNBC chemotherapy.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) has a poorer survival, despite a higher response rate to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The purpose of this study was to identify the predictive or prognostic value of Ki-67 among patients with TNBC treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and the role of Ki-67 in further classification of TNBC.
A total of 105 TNBC patients who received neoadjuvant docetaxel/doxorubicin chemotherapy were included in the present study. Pathologic complete response (pCR) rate, relapse-free survival (RFS), and overall survival (OS) were compared according to the level of Ki-67.
pCR was observed in 13.3% of patients. TNBC with high Ki-67 expression (≥10%) showed a higher pCR rate to neoadjuvant chemotherapy than TNBC with low Ki-67 expression. None of the low Ki-67 group achieved pCR (18.2% in the high Ki-67 group vs. 0.0% in the low Ki-67 group, P = 0.019). However, a high Ki-67 expression was significantly associated with poor RFS and OS in TNBC, despite a higher pCR rate (P = 0.005, P = 0.019, respectively). In multivariate analysis, high Ki-67 was an independent prognostic factor for RFS in TNBC (hazard ratio = 7.82, P = 0.002). The high Ki-67 group showed a similar pattern of recurrence with overall TNBC, whereas the low Ki-67 group demonstrated a relatively constant hazard rate for relapse.
TNBC with high Ki-67 was associated with a more aggressive clinical feature despite a higher pCR rate. High proliferation index Ki-67 can be used for further classification of TNBC into two subtypes with different responses and prognosis.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a type of aggressive breast cancer lacking the expression of estrogen receptors (ER), progesterone receptors (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2). TNBC patients account for approximately 15% of total breast cancer patients and are more prevalent among young African, African-American and Latino women patients. The currently available ER-targeted and Her-2-based therapies are not effective for treating TNBC. Recent studies have revealed a number of novel features of TNBC. In the present work, we comprehensively addressed these features and discussed potential therapeutic approaches based on these features for TNBC, with particular focus on: 1) the pathological features of TNBC/basal-like breast cancer; 2) E2/ERβ – mediated signaling pathways; 3) G-protein coupling receptor-30/epithelial growth factor receptor (GPCR-30/EGFR) signaling pathway; 4) interactions of ERβ with breast cancer 1/2 (BRCA1/2); 5) chemokine CXCL8 and related chemokines; 6) altered microRNA signatures and suppression of ERα expression/ERα-signaling by micro-RNAs; 7) altered expression of several pro-oncongenic and tumor suppressor proteins; and 8) genotoxic effects caused by oxidative estrogen metabolites. Gaining better insights into these molecular pathways in TNBC may lead to identification of novel biomarkers and targets for development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for prevention and treatment of TNBC.
Breast cancer; CXC chemokine; CXCL8; ERα; ERβ; estrogen carcinogenesis; GRCP-30/EGFR; mircoRNAs; therapeutic approaches for TN-breast cancer; triple negative breast cancer
Introduction. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is biologically aggressive and is associated with a worse prognosis. To understand the impact of race/ethnicity on outcome for patients with TNBC, confounding factors such as socioeconomic status (SES) need to be controlled. We examined the impact of race/ethnicity on a cohort of patients of low SES who have TNBC. Methods. 786 patients with Stage 0–III breast cancer were evaluated. Of these, 202 patients had TNBC (26%). Primary endpoints were cancer recurrence and death. ZIP code-based income tract and institutional financial data were used to assess SES. Data were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, log-rank tests, Cox Proportional hazard regression, chi square test, and t-tests. A P value ≤0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results. Of the 468 African-Americans (60%) in the database, 138 had TNBC; 64 of 318 Caucasians had TNBC. 80% of patients had an annual income of ≤$20,000. The 5-year overall survival was 77% for African-American women versus 72% for Caucasian women (P = 0.95). On multivariate analysis, race/ethnicity had an impact on disease-free survival (P = 0.027) but not on overall survival (P = 0.98). Conclusion. In a predominantly indigent population, race/ethnicity had no impact on overall survival for patients with triple negative breast cancer.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is defined by a lack of expression of both estrogen (ER) and progesteron (PgR) receptors as well as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Our retrospective analysis addressed prognostic factors for short- and long-term outcomes of patients (pts) with TNBC pts treated in routine clinical practice.
Patient and methods.
Our retrospective study included 269 TNBC treated at Institute of Oncology Ljubljana between March 2000 and December 2006. The collected data included patients’, tumours’ and treatments’ characteristics. The survival analyses were performed using the Kaplan-Meier method. The Cox proportional hazard model was used in the multivariate analysis.
The median age of our patients was 55.3 yrs (23–88.5) and the median follow-up was 5.9 yrs (0.3–9.6). Six (2%) pts experienced local only, 79 (92%) pts distal recurrence and 66 (24%) died. The predominant localisation of the first relapse was in visceral organs (70.4%). The 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) for the entire group was 68.2% and the 5-year overall survival (OS) was 74.5%. We found a pattern of high recurrence rate in the first 3 years following the diagnosis and a clear decline in recurrence rate over the next 3 years. In the univariate analysis age, nodal status, size and lymphovascular invasion (LVI) were found to have a significant impact on DFS as well as on OS. In the multivariate analysis only age (HR=1.79; 95%CI=1.14–2.82; p=0.012) and nodal status (HR=2.71; 95%CI=1.64–4.46; p<0.001) retained their independent prognostic value for DFS and for OS only the nodal status (HR=2.96; 95%CI=1.51–5.82; p=0.002).
In our series of TNBC pts nodal status and age (older than 65 yrs) were found to be independent prognostic factors for DFS, whereas for OS only the nodal status. We found a pattern of a high recurrence rate in the first 3 years following the diagnosis and a decline in the recurrence rate over the next 3 yrs with higher rate of distal versus local recurrence and a predominant localization of distal metastases in visceral organs.
triple negative breast cancer; prognostic factors; treatment outcome
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease comprehending different orphan breast cancers simply defined by the absence of ER/PR/HER-2. Approximately 15%–20% of all breast cancers belong to this phenotype that has distinct risk factors, distinct molecular features, and a particular clinical presentation and outcome. All these features will be discussed in this review. The risk of developing TNBC varies with age, race, genetics, breastfeeding patterns, and parity. Some TNBC are very chemo-sensitive and the majority of patients confronted with and treated for TNBC will never relapse. Some (histological) subgroups of TNBC may have good prognosis even in the absence of chemotherapy. Distinct molecular subgroups within TNBC have been defined now as well. In case metastatic relapse occurs, this is usually within 5 years following surgery, and survival following metastatic relapse is shorter compared to other breast cancer subtypes; treatment options are few and responses lack durability. Novel drug targets and new biomarkers are needed to improve breast cancer care for patients presenting with TNBC. Further molecular/biological unraveling of TNBC is needed.
breast cancer; triple negative; review
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a recent concept and the burning topic of research today. Various studies have been reported in western literature on TNBCs or the similar group of basal like cancers, all highlighting the poor prognostic features of this molecular subtype in comparison to the other types of breast cancers. However extensive data from India is lacking. The aim of this study was to analyze the epidemiological and clinical profile of TNBcs at our institute.
Materials and Methods:
Data on 171 patients of TNBCs registered at this hospital between 2005 and 2008 and followed up until December 2010 was collected and reviewed for epidemiological and clinical features.
The median age at presentation was 49 years (22-75 years). Sixty eight patients (40%) had lump in the breast of less than 1 month duration. Fourteen (8%) were nulliparous and 10 (7%) patients had crossed the age of 30 years at first full-term pregnancy, 89 (52%) were pre or peri-menopausal at presentation. Only 8 (5%) patients had a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. One hundred and six (62%) patients were stage II, 26 (15%) stage III, 21 (12%) stage I and 18 (10%) stage IV at presentation. One hundred and twenty eight patients (75%) had early breast cancer eligible for surgery at presentation, 25 (15%) were locally advanced and received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) and 18 (10%) were found to be metastatic. Modified radical mastectomy was the preferred surgical option by most patients (76%) who underwent upfront surgery in our study. The pathological overall response rates (complete and partial response) after NACT was 75% with complete response rate of 25% and there were no relapses in the complete responders. The median follow-up was 30 months (9-70 months). One hundred and twenty two patients (71%) were alive at last follow-up, 34 (22%) had relapsed, 18 (11%) had died due to progressive disease. Thirty one patients (18%) were lost to follow-up. Most of the relapses were systemic and rarely preceded by local relapses.
TNBCs are aggressive cancers with high rates of systemic relapses within the first 3 years of presentation. Longer follow-up of these patients is required for more mature data on these cancers.
Clinical profile; epidemiology; India; outcomes; triple negative breast cancer
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous subgroup of breast cancer characterized by the lack of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expressions. This subgroup of refractory disease tends to have aggressive clinical behavior, high frequency of metastasis and lack of response to current hormonal or targeted therapies. Despite numerous studies reporting the clinicopathological features of TNBC and its association with the basal-like phenotype in the Western population, only limited data are available in the Asian population. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the clinicopathological characteristics of TNBC and its association with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), cytokeratin 5/6 (CK5/6) and mast/stem cell growth factor receptor (c-KIT or CD117) expression in Malaysian women.
A total of 340 patients diagnosed with primary breast cancer between 2002 and 2006 in Malaysia were reviewed and analyzed.
The incidence of TNBC was 12.4% (42/340). Bivariate analysis revealed that TNBC was strongly associated with a younger age, higher grade tumor and p53 expression. Further immunohistochemical analysis suggested that TNBC in Malaysian women was strongly associated with EGFR, CK5/6 and c-KIT expression with high a Ki-67 proliferation index.
In conclusion, our study confirms the association of TNBC with basal-like marker expression (EGFR, CK5/6 and c-KIT) in Malaysian women, consistent with studies in other populations.
Triple-negative breast cancers; Basal-like; EGFR; CK5/6; c-Kit
Patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) — defined by lack of estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor expression as well as lack of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) amplification — have a poor prognosis. There is a need for targeted therapies to treat this condition. TNBCs frequently harbor mutations in TP53, resulting in loss of the G1 checkpoint and reliance on checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) to arrest cells in response to DNA damage. Previous studies have shown that inhibition of Chk1 in a p53-deficient background in response to DNA damage. We therefore tested whether inhibition of Chk1 could potentiate the cytotoxicity of the DNA damaging agent irinotecan in TNBC using xenotransplant tumor models. Tumor specimens from patients with TNBC were engrafted into humanized mammary fat pads of immunodeficient mice to create 3 independent human-in-mouse TNBC lines: 1 WT (WU-BC3) and 2 mutant for TP53 (WU-BC4 and WU-BC5). These lines were tested for their response to irinotecan and a Chk1 inhibitor (either UCN-01 or AZD7762), either as single agents or in combination. The combination therapy induced checkpoint bypass and apoptosis in WU-BC4 and WU-BC5, but not WU-BC3, tumors. Moreover, combination therapy inhibited tumor growth and prolonged survival of mice bearing the WU-BC4 line, but not the WU-BC3 line. In addition, knockdown of p53 sensitized WU-BC3 tumors to the combination therapy. These results demonstrate that p53 is a major determinant of how TNBCs respond to therapies that combine DNA damage with Chk1 inhibition.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinicopathological features and analyze the prognostic factors of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
Patients and Methods
The clinical data of 1,788 breast cancer patients was collected and analyzed. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate survival. Multivariate analysis of the prognostic factors for survival was performed using the Cox regression model.
Patients with TNBC exhibited characteristics significantly differing from those with non-TNBC. There was a higher proportion of patients with age < 35 years, stage III disease, tumor size > 5 cm, lymph node positivity, and histological grade 3. The 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) rates of TNBC and non-TNBC patients were 75.7 and 79.6%, respectively (p < 0.05). 5-year overall survival (OS) was 86.6 and 93.5%, respectively (p < 0.05). In multivariate Cox regression analysis, the independent prognostic factors for shorter DFS were age < 35 years (hazard ratio (HR) 2.105), positive lymph nodes (HR 7.039), histological grade 3 (HR 1.841), and for shorter OS positive lymph nodes (HR 4.626).
The proportion of TNBC in breast cancer in China is higher than in other areas. TNBC is correlated with younger age, larger tumor size, positive lymph nodes, higher clinical stage and histological grade, and lower DFS and OS, which is consistent with previous reports.
Triple-negative breast cancer: clinical features, prognosis; Multivariate analysis
In general, genomic signatures of breast cancer subtypes have little or no overlap owing to the heterogeneous genetic backgrounds of study samples. Thus, obtaining a reliable signature in the context of isogenic nature of the cells has been challenging and the precise contribution of isogenic triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) versus non-TNBC remains poorly defined.
We established isogenic stable cell lines representing TNBC and Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 positive (HER2+) breast cancers by introducing HER2 in TNBC cell lines MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468. We examined protein level expression and functionality of the transfected receptor by treatment with an antagonist of HER2. Using microarray profiling, we obtained a comprehensive gene list of differentially expressed between TNBC and HER2+ clones. We identified and validated underlying isogenic components using qPCR and also compared results with expression data from patients with similar breast cancer subtypes.
We identified 544 and 1087 statistically significant differentially expressed genes between isogenic TNBC and HER2+ samples in MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 backgrounds respectively and a shared signature of 49 genes. By comparing results from MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 backgrounds with two patient microarray datasets, we identified 17 and 22 common genes with same expression trend respectively. Additionally, we identified 56 and 78 genes from MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 comparisons respectively present in our published RNA-seq data.
Using our unique model system, we have identified an isogenic gene expression signature between TNBC and HER2+ breast cancer. A portion of our results was also verified in patient data samples, indicating an existence of isogenic element associated with HER2 status between genetically heterogeneous breast cancer samples. These findings may potentially contribute to the development of molecular platform that would be valuable for diagnostic and therapeutic decision for TNBC and in distinguishing it from HER2+ subtype.
Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) and basal-like breast cancers (BLBCs) are known as poor outcome subtypes with a lack of targeted therapy. Previous studies have shown conflicting results regarding the difference of prognostic significance between TNBCs and BLBCs. In this study, we aimed to characterize the prognostic features of TNBCs, in view of BLBCs and quintuple-negative breast cancers (QNBC/5NPs).
Using tissue microarray-based immunohistochemical analysis, we categorized 951 primary breast cancers into four or five subtypes according to the expression of ER, PR, HER2, and basal markers (CK5/6, EGFR).
The results of this study showed that both TNBCs and BLBCs were associated with high histological and/or nuclear grades. When the TNBCs are divided into two subtypes by the presence of basal markers, the clinicopathologic characteristics of TNBCs were mainly maintained in the BLBCs. The 5-subgrouping was the better prediction model for both disease free and overall survival in breast cancers than the 4-subgrouping. After multivariate analysis of TNBCs, the BLBCs did not have a worse prognosis than the QNBC/5NPs. Interestingly, the patients with BLBCs showed significant adjuvant chemotherapy benefit. In addition, QNBC/5NPs comprised about 6~8% of breast cancers in publicly available breast cancer datasets
The QNBC/5NP subtype is a worse prognostic subgroup of TNBCs, especially in higher stage and this result may be related to adjuvant chemotherapy benefit of BLBCs, calling for caution in the identification of subgroups of patients for therapeutic classification.