While the role of auto-HCT is well established in neuroblastoma, the role of allo-HCT is controversial. The CIBMTR conducted a retrospective review of 143 allo-HCT for NBL reported in 1990-2007. Patients were categorized into two different groups: those who had not (Group 1) and had (Group 2) undergone a prior auto HCT (n=46 and 97, respectively). One-year and five-year overall survival (OS) were 59% and 29% for Group 1 and 50% and 7% for Group 2. Amongst donor types, disease free survival (DFS) and OS were significantly lower for unrelated transplants at 1 and 3 years but not 5 years post-HCT. Patients in complete response (CR) or very good partial response (VGPR) at transplant had lower relapse rates and better DFS and OS, compared to those not in CR or VGPR. Our analysis indicates that allo-HCT can cure some neuroblastoma patients, with lower relapse rates and improved survival in patients without a history of prior auto-HCT as compared to those patients who had previously undergone auto-HCT. Although the data do not address why either strategy was chosen for patients, allo-HCT after a prior auto-HCT appears to offer minimal benefit. Disease recurrence remains the most common cause of treatment failure.
neuroblastoma; allogeneic HCT; autologous HCT; CIBMTR
In this pilot study, we prospectively compared the response of bone metastasis assessed by our MD Anderson (MDA) bone tumor response criteria (computed tomography [CT], plain radiography [XR], and skeletal scintigraphy [SS]) with the response assessed by the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria (XR and SS). Both MDA and WHO criteria predicted progression-free survival (PFS) of patients at 6 months but not at an earlier time point.
In our previous study, new MD Anderson (MDA) bone tumor response criteria (based on computed tomography [CT], plain radiography [XR], and skeletal scintigraphy [SS]) predicted progression-free survival (PFS) better than did World Health Organization (WHO) bone tumor response criteria (plain radiography [XR] and SS) among patients with breast cancer and bone-only metastases. In this pilot study, we tested whether MDA criteria could reveal bone metastasis response earlier than WHO criteria in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer with osseous and measurable nonosseous metastases.
We prospectively analyzed bone metastasis response using each imaging modality and set of bone response criteria to distinguish progressive disease (PD) from non-PD and their association with PFS and overall survival (OS). We also compared the response of osseous metastases assessed by both criteria with the response of nonosseous measurable lesions.
The median follow-up period was 26.7 months (range, 6.1–53.3 months) in 29 patients. PFS rates differed at 6 months based on the classification of PD or non-PD using either set of criteria (MDA, P = .002; WHO, P = .014), but these rates, as well as OS, did not differ at 3 months. Response in osseous metastases by either set of criteria did not correlate with the response in nonosseous metastases.
MDA and WHO criteria predicted PFS of patients with osseous metastases at 6 months but not at an earlier time point. We plan a well-powered study to determine the role of MDA criteria in predicting bone tumor response by incorporating 18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F) positron emission tomography (FDG-PET)/CT to see if findings using this modality are earlier than those with WHO criteria.
one metastasis; Bone tumor response criteria; Breast cancer; Computed tomography; Plain radiography; Skeletal scintigraphy
Bisphosphonates have been used successfully in the treatment of hypercalcemia and to reduce skeletal complications of bone metastasis, but have not been shown to prevent bone metastasis or to prolong survival time in metastatic breast cancer patients. The aim of this study was to determine whether the progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of patients with bone-only breast cancer metastasis differed based on whether patients received zoledronic acid, pamidronate, or no bisphosphonate upon diagnosis of their metastases.
Patients and methods
We retrospectively identified 314 patients diagnosed with bone-only metastasis at the time of initial staging or who developed bone metastasis as the first recurrence site during follow-up from January 1, 1997, to December 31, 2008, at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Univariate and multivariate Cox hazards models were used to assess the effects of each treatment on PFS and OS.
Patients who had more than one bone metastasis and ECOG performance status of 2 and 3 were more likely to receive zoledronic acid in this analysis. Compared with no bisphosphonate use, the use of zoledronic acid was not significantly associated with longer PFS (hazard ratio [HR]=0.72, p=0.058 in univariate analysis and HR=0.80, p=0.235 in multivariate analysis) nor with longer OS (HR=1.04, p=0.863 in univariate analysis and HR=1.34, p=0.192 in multivariate analysis).
Our study demonstrates that for patients with bone-only metastases, zoledronic acid did not prolong PFS or OS. In patients with bone-only metastasis, we could not demonstrate antitumor effects of zoledronic acid.
Zoledronic acid; breast cancer; bone-only metastases; bisphosphonate
Altered serum microRNA (miRNA) levels may be correlated with a dysregulated expression pattern in parental tumor tissue and reflect the clinical evolution of disease. The overexpression of miR-21, miR-10b, and miR-19a is associated with the acquisition of malignant characteristics (increased tumor cell proliferation, migration, invasion, dissemination, and metastasis); thus, we determined their utility as serum biomarkers for aggressive breast cancer (HER2-overexpressed or -amplified [HER2+] and inflammatory breast cancer [IBC]).
In this prospective study, we measured miR-21, miR-10b, and miR-19a levels using quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in the serum of 113 breast cancer patients and determined their association with clinicopathologic factors and clinical outcome. Thirty healthy donors with no history of cancer were enrolled as controls.
Patients with non-metastatic HER2+ breast cancer had higher serum miR-21 median levels than patients with non-metastatic HER2− disease (p = 0.044); whereas patients with metastatic HER2+ breast cancer had higher serum miR-10b median levels than patients with metastatic HER2− disease (p = 0.0004). There were no significant differences in serum miR-19a median levels between HER2+ and HER2− groups, regardless of the presence of metastases. High serum miR-19a levels were associated with IBC (p = 0.039). Patients with metastatic IBC had significantly higher serum miR-19a median levels than patients with metastatic non-IBC (p = 0.019). Finally, high serum miR-19a levels were associated with longer progression-free survival time (10.3 vs. 3.2 months; p = 0.022) and longer overall survival time (median not reached vs. 11.2 months; p = 0.003) in patients with metastatic HER2+ IBC.
High levels of miR-21 and miR-10b were present in the serum of patients with non-metastatic and metastatic HER2+ breast cancer, respectively. High levels of serum miR-19a may represent a biomarker for IBC that is predictive for favorable clinical outcome in patients with metastatic HER2+ IBC.
Adjuvant hormonal therapy for hormone receptor (HR)-positive primary breast cancer patients and a human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-targeted agent for HER2-positive primary breast cancer patients are standard treatment. However, it is not well known whether adding hormonal therapy to the combination of preoperative or postoperative chemotherapy and HER2-targeted agent contributes any additional clinical benefit in patients with HR-positive/HER2-positive primary breast cancer regardless of cross-talk between HR and HER2. We retrospectively reviewed records from 897 patients with HR-positive/ HER2-positive primary breast cancer with clinical stage I–III disease who underwent surgery between 1988 and 2009. We determined the overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) rates according to whether they received hormonal therapy or not and according to the type of hormonal therapy, tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor, they received. The median followup time was 52.8 months (range 1–294.6 months). Patients who received hormonal therapy with chemotherapy and trastuzumab (n = 128) had significantly higher OS and DFS rates than did those who received only chemotherapy and trastuzumab (n = 46) in log-rank analysis (OS 96.1 vs. 87.0 %, p = 0.023, DFS 86.7 vs. 78.3 %, p = 0.029). There was no statistical difference in OS or DFS between those given an aromatase inhibitor and those given tamoxifen. In multivariate analysis, receiving hormonal therapy in addition to the combination of chemotherapy and trastuzumab was the sole independent prognostic factor for DFS (hazard ratio 0.446; 95 % CI 0.200–0.992; p = 0.048), and there was a similar trend in OS. Our study supported that hormonal therapy, whether in the form of an aromatase inhibitor or tamoxifen, confers a survival benefit when added to chemotherapy and trastuzumab in patients with HR-positive/HER2-positive primary breast cancer. Adjuvant treatment without hormonal therapy is inferior for this patient population.
Hormonal therapy; Hormone receptor; Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; Breast neoplasm; Chemotherapy
The presence of ≥5 circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in 7.5 ml blood is a poor prognostic marker in metastatic breast cancer (MBC). However, the role of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status in CTCs is not known.
We prospectively assessed the prognostic value of this parameter for patients with MBC who started a new line of systemic therapy. The CTC count (≥5 or <5) and the HER2 status in CTCs at the initiation of the therapy and 3–4 weeks later (first follow-up) were determined.
The median follow-up time of the 52 enrolled patients was 655.0 days (18–1,275 days). HER2-positive CTCs were present in 14 of the 52 patients (26.9%) during the study period. Eight of 33 patients (24.2%) with HER2-negative primary tumors had HER2-positive CTCs during the study period. At first follow-up, patients with HER2-positive CTCs had significantly shorter progression-free (n = 6; P = 0.001) and overall (P = 0.013) survival than did patients without HER2-positive CTCs (n = 43) in log-rank analysis. In multivariate analysis, HER2-positive CTCs at first follow-up (P = 0.029) and the number of therapies patients received before this study (P = 0.006) were independent prognostic factors in terms of progression-free survival. The number of therapies (P = 0.001) and a count of ≥5 CTCs (P = 0.043) at baseline were independent prognostic factors in terms of overall survival.
We showed that HER2 status in CTCs may be a prognostic factor for MBC. Well-powered prospective studies are necessary to determine the potential role of HER2-targeted therapies for patients with HER2-positive CTCs and HER2-negative primary tumors.
Circulating tumor cell; Breast neoplasm; HER2; Metastasis
The role and the optimal measurement method of serum HER2 levels are not defined in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). We prospectively assessed the prognostic value of serum HER2 levels in MBC using two methods, enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA).
We collected blood samples from patients with MBC at baseline and at subsequent 3- to 4-week intervals up to 12 weeks. Samples were divided, and serum HER2 levels were determined using EIA and CLIA. We also determined whether serum HER2 levels had decreased by ≥20% at first follow-up. These results were evaluated against overall survival, progression-free survival, and tumor response.
We obtained 196 samples from 52 patients. In 59 samples from patients who received trastuzumab, serum HER2 positivity rates were significantly lower for EIA (n = 22) than for CLIA (n = 33, P = 0.042); in 137 samples from patients who did not receive trastuzumab, there was no significant difference in rates of serum HER2 positivity for CLIA (n = 83) and EIA (n = 80). Serum HER2 level at baseline, the level at first follow-up, and a decrease of ≥20% between baseline and first follow-up were not associated with overall survival, progression-free survival, and tumor response.
Chemiluminescence immunoassay was a more sensitive method than EIA for measuring serum HER2 levels in patients who received trastuzumab. However, because serum HER2 levels did not correlate with patient outcome, we do not currently recommend measuring serum HER2 levels by either method for prognostic evaluation in patients with MBC.
Breast neoplasm; HER2; Metastasis; Serum HER2; Trastuzumab
Patients with metastatic breast cancer have traditionally been considered incurable with conventional treatment. However, 5–10% of those patients survive more than 5 years, and 2–5% survive more than 10 years. Recent studies suggest that the survival of patients with metastatic breast cancer has been slowly improving. In this review, we examine the possible curative approach for a certain group of patients with metastatic breast cancer. We identify that patients most likely to benefit from such an aggressive approach are young and have good performance status, adequate body functional reserve, long disease-free interval before recurrence, oligometastatic disease, and low systemic tumor load. An aggressive multidisciplinary approach including both local treatment of macroscopic disease and systemic treatment of microscopic disease can result in prolonged disease control in certain patients with metastatic breast cancer. Whether patients with prolonged disease control are “cured” remains controversial.
Metastatic breast cancer; Chemotherapy; Targeted therapy; Radiation therapy; Surgery
The frequent comorbidity of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) with epilepsy suggests a shared underlying genetic susceptibility; several genes, when mutated, can contribute to both disorders. Recently, PRICKLE1 missense mutations were found to segregate with ASD. However, the mechanism by which mutations in this gene might contribute to ASD is unknown. To elucidate the role of PRICKLE1 in ASDs, we carried out studies in Prickle1+/− mice and Drosophila, yeast, and neuronal cell lines. We show that mice with Prickle1 mutations exhibit ASD-like behaviors. To find proteins that interact with PRICKLE1 in the central nervous system, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen with a human brain cDNA library and isolated a peptide with homology to SYNAPSIN I (SYN1), a protein involved in synaptogenesis, synaptic vesicle formation, and regulation of neurotransmitter release. Endogenous Prickle1 and Syn1 co-localize in neurons and physically interact via the SYN1 region mutated in ASD and epilepsy. Finally, a mutation in PRICKLE1 disrupts its ability to increase the size of dense-core vesicles in PC12 cells. Taken together, these findings suggest PRICKLE1 mutations contribute to ASD by disrupting the interaction with SYN1 and regulation of synaptic vesicles.
Decades of research in molecular oncology have brought about promising new therapies that are designed to target specific molecules that promote tumor growth and survival. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is one of the first identified important targets of these novel antitumor agents. Approximately half of cases of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) overexpress EGFR. Thus, EGFR inhibitors for treatment of breast cancer have been evaluated in several studies. However, results so far have been disappointing. One of the reasons for these unexpected results is the lack of biomarkers for predicting which patients are most likely to respond to EGFR inhibitors. Recent studies have shown that EGFR and its downstream pathway regulate epithelial-mesenchymal transition, migration, and tumor invasion and that high EGFR expression is an independent predictor of poor prognosis in IBC. Further, recent studies have shown that targeting EGFR enhances the chemosensitivity of TNBC cells by rewiring apoptotic signaling networks in TNBC. These studies indicate that EGFR-targeted therapy might have a promising role in TNBC and IBC. Further studies of the role of EGFR in TNBC and IBC are needed to better understand the best way to use EGFR-targeted therapy—e.g., as a chemosensitizer or to prevent metastases—to treat these aggressive diseases.
EGFR; breast cancer; targeted therapy; triple-negative breast cancer; inflammatory breast cancer
Currently, there is extensive information about circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and their prognostic value; however, little is known about other characteristics of these cells. In this prospective study, we assessed the gene transcripts of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition inducing transcription factors (EMT-TFs) and cancer stem cell features in HER2+ metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. Epithelial cells were enriched from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) using antibody-coated anti-CD326 antibody (CD326+) magnetic beads, and the residual CD326− PBMCs were further depleted of leukocytes using anti-CD45 antibody-coated magnetic beads (CD326−CD45−). RNA was extracted from all cell fractions, reverse transcribed to cDNA, and subjected to quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to detect EMT-TFs (TWIST1, SNAIL1, ZEB1, and TG2) as a measure of CTCs undergoing EMT (EMT-CTCs). Additionally, PBMCs were analyzed using multi-parameter flow cytometry for ALDH activity and cancer stem cells (CSCs) that express CD24, CD44, and CD133. Twenty-eight patients were included in this study. At least one EMT-TF mRNA was elevated in the CTCs of 88.2% of patients and in the CD326−CD45− cell fraction of 60.7% of patients. The CD326−CD45− fraction of patients with elevated SNAIL1 and ZEB1 transcripts also had a higher percentage of ALDH+/CD133+ cells in their blood than did patients with normal SNAIL1 and ZEB1 expression (P=0.038). Our data indicate that HER2+ MBC patients have EMT-CTCs. Moreover, an enrichment of cancer stem cells was found in CD326−CD45− cells. Additional studies are needed to determine whether EMT-CTCs and CSCs have prognostic value in HER2+ MBC patients treated with trastuzumab-based therapy.
circulating tumor cells; epithelial to mesenchymal transition; stem cells; HER2; CD133; metastatic breast cancer
Although preliminary reports suggest that ALK gene amplification may occur in inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), data are limited. We performed a comprehensive investigation of the status of ALK gene in IBC.
We used core biopsy (CB) samples from 30 IBC patients for immunohistochemistry (IHC), 25 of these samples for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of ALK gene rearrangement, 8 for chromosome 2 aneusomy, and 20 microdissected frozen CBs for array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and mRNA analysis.
All 30 samples were negative for ALK protein expression by IHC. FISH analysis showed no EML4-ALK gene rearrangement in any samples, although 16 of the 25 samples (64%) contained 3 to 4 extra copies of the ALK gene, and chromosome 2 aneusomy was found in 7 of 8 samples that had extra copies of the ALK gene. Only 3 of the 20 samples showed evidence of mild ALK gene amplification by array CGH. mRNA analysis revealed that mRNA expression of ALK was not significantly higher in these samples compared with samples that showed no evidence of ALK gene amplification in CGH analysis, nor was mRNA expression of ALK significantly different in tumor compared with 5 normal breast samples (P > 0.05, t test).
Our comprehensive evaluation suggests that ALK gene rearrangement did not occur in the IBC patients studied. The significance of our finding of mildly increased copy numbers of the ALK gene resulting from chromosome 2 aneusomy rather than mild amplification of the ALK gene requires further investigation.
WNT signaling plays a key role in the self-renewal of tumor initiation cells (TICs). In this study, we used pyrvinium pamoate (PP), an FDA-approved antihelmintic drug that inhibits WNT signaling, to test whether pharmacologic inhibition of WNT signaling can specifically target TICs of aggressive breast cancer cells. SUM-149, an inflammatory breast cancer cell line, and SUM-159, a metaplastic basal-type breast cancer cell line, were used in these studies. We found that PP inhibited primary and secondary mammosphere formation of cancer cells at nanomolar concentrations, at least 10 times less than the dose needed to have a toxic effect on cancer cells. A comparable mammosphere formation IC50 dose to that observed in cancer cell lines was obtained using malignant pleural effusion samples from patients with IBC. A decrease in activity of the TIC surrogate aldehyde dehydrogenase was observed in PP-treated cells, and inhibition of WNT signaling by PP was associated with down-regulation of a panel of markers associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition. In vivo, intratumoral injection was associated with tumor necrosis, and intraperitoneal injection into mice with tumor xenografts caused significant tumor growth delay and a trend toward decreased lung metastasis. In in vitro mammosphere-based and monolayer-based clonogenic assays, we found that PP radiosensitized cells in monolayer culture but not mammosphere culture. These findings suggest WNT signaling inhibition may be a feasible strategy for targeting aggressive breast cancer. Investigation and modification of the bioavailability and toxicity profile of systemic PP are warranted.
153Sm-DOTMP; bone-seeking radiopharmaceutical; preclinical study
This article reviews the current status of multidisciplinary care for patients with inflammatory breast cancer. Future avenues of research to advance the care of patients with this disease are also presented.
We review the current status of multidisciplinary care for patients with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and discuss what further research is needed to advance the care of patients with this disease.
We performed a comprehensive review of the English-language literature on IBC through computerized literature searches.
Significant advances in imaging, including digital mammography, high-resolution ultrasonography with Doppler capabilities, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography–computed tomography, have improved the diagnosis and staging of IBC. There are currently no established molecular criteria for distinguishing IBC from noninflammatory breast cancer. Such criteria would be helpful for the diagnosis and development of novel targeted therapies. Combinations of neoadjuvant systemic chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy have led to an improved prognosis; however, the overall 5-year survival rate for patients with IBC remains very low (∼30%). Sentinel lymph node biopsy and skin-sparing mastectomy are not recommended for patients with IBC.
Optimal management of IBC requires close coordination among medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists, as well as radiologists and pathologists. There is a need to identify molecular changes that define the pathogenesis of IBC to enable eradication of IBC with the use of IBC-specific targeted therapies.
Inflammatory breast cancer; Systemic therapy; Targeted therapy
The establishment of trophectoderm (TE) manifests as the formation of epithelium, and is dependent on many structural and regulatory components that are commonly found and function in many epithelial tissues. However, the mechanism of TE formation is currently not well understood. Prickle1 (Pk1), a core component of the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, is essential for epiblast polarization before gastrulation, yet the roles of Pk family members in early mouse embryogenesis are obscure. Here we found that Pk2−/− embryos died at E3.0–3.5 without forming the blastocyst cavity and not maintained epithelial integrity of TE. These phenotypes were due to loss of the apical-basal (AB) polarity that underlies the asymmetric redistribution of microtubule networks and proper accumulation of AB polarity components on each membrane during compaction. In addition, we found GTP-bound active form of nuclear RhoA was decreased in Pk2−/− embryos during compaction. We further show that the first cell fate decision was disrupted in Pk2−/− embryos. Interestingly, Pk2 localized to the nucleus from the 2-cell to around the 16-cell stage despite its cytoplasmic function previously reported. Inhibiting farnesylation blocked Pk2’s nuclear localization and disrupted AB cell polarity, suggesting that Pk2 farnesylation is essential for its nuclear localization and function. The cell polarity phenotype was efficiently rescued by nuclear but not cytoplasmic Pk2, demonstrating the nuclear localization of Pk2 is critical for its function.
We evaluated whether patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) –positive primary breast tumors had metastatic tumors that were HER2 positive (concordant) or HER2 negative (discordant). We then evaluated whether treatment with trastuzumab or chemotherapy before biopsy of the metastasis had any effect on the rate of HER2 discordance. We also compared the overall survival durations of patients with HER2-concordant and -discordant tumors.
Patients and Methods
We retrospectively identified all patients who initially had been diagnosed with HER2-positive (immunohistochemistry 3+ and/or fluorescent in situ hybridization positive) primary breast cancer between 1997 and 2008 at MD Anderson Cancer Center who also had metastatic tumor biopsy results available for review.
We included 182 patients who met our criteria. Forty-three (24%) of the 182 patients with HER2-positive primary tumors had HER2-negative metastatic tumors. The HER2 discordance rates differed significantly on the basis of whether patients received chemotherapy (P = .022) but not on the basis of whether patients received trastuzumab (P = .296). Patients with discordant HER2 status had shorter overall survival than did patients with concordant HER2 status (hazard ratio [HR], 0.43; P = .003). A survival difference remained among the 67 patients who received trastuzumab (HR, 0.56; P = .083) and 101 patients who did not (HR, 0.53; P = .033) before their metastasis biopsies.
We confirmed that loss of HER2-positive status in metastatic tumors can occur in patients with primary HER2-positive breast cancer. Our data strongly support the need for biopsies of metastatic lesions to accurately determine patient prognosis and appropriate use of targeted therapy.
Results of a phase II clinical trial of leuprolide administered before conditioning chemotherapy in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation patients to reduce the incidence of premature ovarian failure are presented. Leuprolide did not preserve ovarian function in patients who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation using either myeloablative or nonmyeloablative regimens.
Premature ovarian failure occurs in 40%–70% of patients who receive conventional chemotherapy alone. However, the incidence is higher, 70%–100%, in patients who undergo myeloablative chemotherapy with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs, such as leuprolide, in a continuous-release formulation, may protect the ovaries from the gonadotoxic effects of chemotherapy. In non-HSCT settings, GnRH analogs have reduced the risk for premature ovarian failure to <10%. We conducted a phase II clinical trial based on the hypothesis that giving leuprolide before conditioning chemotherapy in HSCT patients reduces premature ovarian failure incidence.
Patients and Methods.
Eligible patients were women aged ≤40 years who were HSCT candidates, were premenopausal, and had both follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels ≤20 IU/L. Two 22.5-mg leuprolide doses were delivered in 3-month depot i.m. injections, the first within 2 months before HSCT. Patients were monitored for menstruation return, and ovarian function tests (FSH, LH, and estradiol) were done every 2 months starting 90 days after the last leuprolide dose.
Sixty eligible patients were enrolled, 59 underwent HSCT, and 44 were evaluable (median age, 25 years; median follow-up, 355 days). Only seven of 44 patients (16%) regained ovarian function. Of the 33 who received myeloablative regimens, six (18%) regained ovarian function. However, among the 11 who received nonmyeloablative regimens, only one (9%) regained ovarian function (p = .66).
Leuprolide did not preserve ovarian function in patients who underwent HSCT using either myeloablative or nonmyeloablative regimens. Other measures that protect ovarian function need to be investigated.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog; Premature ovarian failure; Ovarian function preservation; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Clear cell carcinoma (CCC) of the ovary tends to show resistance to standard chemotherapy, which results in poor survival for patients with CCC. Developing a novel therapeutic strategy is imperative to improve patient prognosis. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is frequently expressed in epithelial ovarian cancer. One of the major downstream targets of the EGFR signaling cascade is ERK. PEA-15, a 15-kDa phosphoprotein, can sequester ERK in the cytoplasm. MEK1/2 plays a central role in integrating mitogenic signals into the ERK pathway. We tested the hypothesis that inhibition of the EGFR-ERK pathway suppresses tumorigenicity in CCC, and we investigated the role of PEA-15 in ERK-targeted therapy in CCC. We screened a panel of four CCC cell lines (RMG-I, SMOV-2, OVTOKO, and KOC-7c) and observed that the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib inhibited cell proliferation of EGFR-overexpressing CCC cell lines through partial dependence on the MEK/ERK pathway. Further, erlotinib-sensitive cell lines were also sensitive to the MEK inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244), which is under clinical development. Knockdown of PEA-15 expression resulted in reversal of selumetinib-sensitive cells to resistant cells, implying that PEA-15 contributes to selumetinib sensitivity. Both selumetinib and erlotinib significantly suppressed tumor growth (P < 0.0001) in a CCC xenograft model. However, selumetinib was better tolerated; erlotinib-treated mice exhibited significant toxic effects (marked weight loss, severe skin peeling) at high doses. Our findings indicate that the MEK/ERK pathway is a potential target for EGFR-overexpressing CCC and indicate that selumetinib and erlotinib are worth exploring as therapeutic agents for CCC.
ovarian clear cell carcinoma; erlotinib; selumetinib; AZD6244; PEA-15; ERK
We examined the feasibility and safety of using paclitaxel and trastuzumab as maintenance therapy after high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHST) for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. Ten patients (9 women and 1 man) were enrolled in the study. The median age was 46.5 years (range, 27-65 years). The median follow-up time was 1003 days (range, 216-2526 days). All patients had metastatic disease, but 2 had only bone metastasis. One patient had complete response, 6 had partial response and 3 had stable disease to the standard-dose chemotherapy prior to transplantation. The conditioning regimen consisted of cyclophosphamide, carmustine, and thiotepa. After AHST, patients received weekly paclitaxel for 12 doses and trastuzumab every 3 weeks for 1 year as maintenance therapy. All patients experienced successful engraftment. The only grade 4 toxic effects observed were leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. The most common grade 3 toxic effect was neutropenic fever. No treatment-related deaths were observed. The median progression-free survival time was 441 days, and the median overall survival time was 955 days. Two patients died in accidents while their disease remained in remission. Five patients died with disease progression. At the time of this report, 3 patients are alive with stable disease, 1 of whom has remained free of disease progression for 2526 days since transplantation. Our findings indicate that paclitaxel plus trastuzumab as maintenance therapy after HDC with AHST for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer not only is feasible and safe but also results in survival outcomes similar to historical results.
paclitaxel; trastuzumab; metastatic breast cancer
Taxanes are among the drugs most commonly used for preoperative chemotherapy for breast cancer. Taxanes induce mitotic arrest and subsequent apoptosis. The spindle-assembly checkpoint (SAC) is known to be activated during mitosis, along with cyclin-dependent kinase-1 (CDK1), and is required for taxane-induced cell death. We hypothesized that CDK1 activity predicts response to taxane-containing chemotherapy.
This study included breast cancer patients who received preoperative chemotherapy— taxane-containing treatment followed by anthracycline-based treatment—and then underwent surgery. Before starting taxane-containing chemotherapy, patients underwent fine-needle aspiration biopsy, and the biopsy samples were incubated in paclitaxel solution to measure CDK activity. Clinical were evaluated after taxane therapy, and pathological resposes were evaluated after completion of all preoperative chemotherapy. Thirty five patients were eligible for analysis of clinical response to taxane-containing therapy. Twenty-six patients had taxane-sensitive and 9 taxane-resistant tumors.
Using a cut-off of CDK activity determined by the ROC analysis, patients were classified into SAC function and dysfunction groups. Univariate logistic regression analysis with clinicopathologic parameters showed that only CDK-based SAC functionality was significantly correlated with clinical response (P =0.017). No significant correlation was observed between SAC functionality and pathologic response.
CDK-based SAC functionality significantly predicted clinical response (P =.0072, overall agreement = 71.4%), and this is a unique mechanism-based marker for predicting taxane chemosensitivity. Further, large prospective study is needed to determine CDK-based SAC functionality could be developed as a predictive biomarker.
chemosensitivity prediction; cyclin-dependent kinase; preoperative chemotherapy; spindle-assembly checkpoint; taxane
Comparative genome analysis of non-avian reptiles and amphibians provides important clues about the process of genome evolution in tetrapods. However, there is still only limited information available on the genome structures of these organisms. Consequently, the protokaryotypes of amniotes and tetrapods and the evolutionary processes of microchromosomes in tetrapods remain poorly understood. We constructed chromosome maps of functional genes for the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis), the Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis), and the Western clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis) and compared them with genome and/or chromosome maps of other tetrapod species (salamander, lizard, snake, chicken, and human). This is the first report on the protokaryotypes of amniotes and tetrapods and the evolutionary processes of microchromosomes inferred from comparative genomic analysis of vertebrates, which cover all major non-avian reptilian taxa (Squamata, Crocodilia, Testudines). The eight largest macrochromosomes of the turtle and chicken were equivalent, and 11 linkage groups had also remained intact in the crocodile. Linkage groups of the chicken macrochromosomes were also highly conserved in X. tropicalis, two squamates, and the salamander, but not in human. Chicken microchromosomal linkages were conserved in the squamates, which have fewer microchromosomes than chicken, and also in Xenopus and the salamander, which both lack microchromosomes; in the latter, the chicken microchromosomal segments have been integrated into macrochromosomes. Our present findings open up the possibility that the ancestral amniotes and tetrapods had at least 10 large genetic linkage groups and many microchromosomes, which corresponded to the chicken macro- and microchromosomes, respectively. The turtle and chicken might retain the microchromosomes of the amniote protokaryotype almost intact. The decrease in number and/or disappearance of microchromosomes by repeated chromosomal fusions probably occurred independently in the amphibian, squamate, crocodilian, and mammalian lineages.
The value of hormone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression for predicting overall survival, distant relapse, and locoregional relapse was examined in patients with inflammatory breast cancer. Triple-negative disease was associated with worse outcomes, indicating the need for developing new locoregional and systemic treatment strategies for patients with this aggressive subtype.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that expression of estrogen/progesterone receptor (ER/PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)-2 is important for predicting overall survival (OS), distant relapse (DR), and locoregional relapse (LRR) in early and advanced breast cancer patients. However, these findings have not been confirmed for inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), which has different biological features than non-IBC.
We retrospectively analyzed the records of 316 women who presented to MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1989–2008 with newly diagnosed IBC without distant metastases. Most patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy, mastectomy, and postmastectomy radiation. Patients were grouped according to receptor status: ER+ (ER+/PR+ and HER-2−; n = 105), ER+HER-2+ (ER+/PR+ and HER-2+; n = 37), HER-2+ (ER−/PR− and HER-2+; n = 83), or triple-negative (TN) (ER−PR−HER-2−; n = 91). Kaplan–Meier and Cox proportional hazards methods were used to assess LRR, DR, and OS rates and their associations with prognostic factors.
The median age was 50 years (range, 24–83 years). The median follow-up time and median OS time for all patients were both 33 months. The 5-year actuarial OS rates were 58.7% for the entire cohort, 69.7% for ER+ patients, 73.5% for ER+HER-2+ patients, 54.0% for HER=2+ patients, and 42.7% for TN patients (p < .0001); 5-year LRR rates were 20.3%, 8.0%, 12.6%, 22.6%, and 38.6%, respectively, for the four subgroups (p < .0001); and 5-year DR rates were 45.5%, 28.8%, 50.1%, 52.1%, and 56.7%, respectively (p < .001). OS and LRR rates were worse for TN patients than for any other subgroup (p < .0001–.03).
TN disease is associated with worse OS, DR, and LRR outcomes in IBC patients, indicating the need for developing new locoregional and systemic treatment strategies for patients with this aggressive subtype.
Inflammatory breast cancer; Estrogen receptor; Progesterone receptor; HER-2; Molecular subtypes
Depression and anxiety are prevalent in women with breast cancer. We developed a self-help kit as a self-learning package of necessary preparatory information (basic knowledge on chemotherapy, side effects, and problem-solving skills). We provided an oncology nurse-guided self-help kit with a cognitive behavioral therapy approach to 46 women with breast cancer in the intervention group and usual care to 36 in the control group in outpatient chemotherapy settings. The oncology nurse monitored and facilitated the patient's progress using the diary during the patient's chemotherapy. We also provided professional-led support group programs. Depression, anxiety, and quality of life were measured at baseline, 1 week, 3 months, and 6 months. The chi-square test and t were used to examine differences between the two groups, and repeated measures analysis of variance was used to test the effects of the intervention on the measures over time. All depression and anxiety scores were improved in both the intervention and control groups, but there were no significant differences between the two groups. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of an oncology nurse-guided self-help approach for cancer patients.
The sensitivity and specificity of positron emission tomography–computed tomography were compared with those of conventional imaging (computed tomography, ultrasonography, radiography, and skeletal scintigraphy) for the detection of distant metastases in patients with primary breast cancer.
Evidence from studies with small numbers of patients indicates that 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) accurately detects distant metastases in the staging of primary breast cancer. We compared the sensitivity and specificity of PET/CT and conventional imaging (CT, ultrasonography, radiography, and skeletal scintigraphy) for the detection of distant metastases in patients with primary breast cancer.
Patients and Methods.
We performed a retrospective review that identified 225 patients with primary breast cancer seen from January 2000 to September 2009 for whom PET/CT data were available for review. Imaging findings were compared with findings on biopsy, subsequent imaging, or clinical follow-up. Sensitivity and specificity in the detection of distant metastases were calculated for PET/CT and conventional imaging. Fisher's exact tests were used to test the differences in sensitivity and specificity between PET/CT and conventional imaging.
The mean patient age at diagnosis was 53.4 years (range, 23–84 years). The sensitivity and specificity in the detection of distant metastases were 97.4% and 91.2%, respectively, for PET/CT and 85.9% and 67.3%, respectively, for conventional imaging. The sensitivity and specificity of PET/CT were significantly higher than those of conventional imaging (p = .009 and p < .001, respectively). Eleven cases of distant metastases detected by PET/CT were clinically occult and not evident on conventional imaging.
PET/CT has higher sensitivity and specificity than conventional imaging in the detection of distant metastases of breast cancer. A prospective study is needed to determine whether PET/CT could replace conventional imaging to detect distant metastases in patients with primary breast cancer.
Breast cancer; PET/CT; Primary staging