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1.  Measuring HER2-Receptor Expression In Metastatic Breast Cancer Using [68Ga]ABY-025 Affibody PET/CT 
Theranostics  2016;6(2):262-271.
Purpose: Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging of HER2 expression could potentially be used to select patients for HER2-targed therapy, predict response based on uptake and be used for monitoring. In this phase I/II study the HER2-binding Affibody molecule ABY-025 was labeled with 68Ga-gallium ([68Ga]ABY-025) for PET to study effect of peptide mass, test-retest variability and correlation of quantified uptake in tumors to histopathology.
Experimental design: Sixteen women with known metastatic breast cancer and on-going treatment were included and underwent FDG PET/CT to identify viable metastases. After iv injection of 212±46 MBq [68Ga]ABY-025 whole-body PET was performed at 1, 2 and 4 h. In the first 10 patients (6 with HER2-positive and 4 with HER2-negative primary tumors), [68Ga]ABY-025 PET/CT with two different doses of injected peptide was performed one week apart. In the last six patients (5 HER2-positive and 1 HER2-negative primary tumors), repeated [68Ga]ABY-025 PET were performed one week apart as a test-retest of uptake in individual lesions. Biopsies from 16 metastases in 12 patients were collected for verification of HER2 expression by immunohistochemistry and in-situ hybridization.
Results: Imaging 4h after injection with high peptide content discriminated HER2-positive metastases best (p<0.01). PET SUV correlated with biopsy HER2-scores (r=0.91, p<0.001). Uptake was five times higher in HER2-positive than in HER2-negative lesions with no overlap (p=0.005). The test-retest intra-class correlation was r=0.996. [68Ga]ABY-025 PET correctly identified conversion and mixed expression of HER2 and targeted treatment was changed in 3 of the 16 patients.
Conclusion: [68Ga]ABY-025 PET accurately quantifies whole-body HER2-receptor status in metastatic breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4729774  PMID: 26877784
Affibody; breast cancer metastases; clinical study; HER2-receptor; 68Ga-gallium
2.  Molecular subtypes in ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast and their relation to prognosis: a population-based cohort study 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:512.
Different molecular subtypes of breast cancer have been identified based on gene expression profiling. Treatment suggestions based on an approximation of these subtypes by immunohistochemical criteria have been published by the St Gallen international expert consensus panel. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) can be classified into the same molecular subtypes. Our aim was to study the relation between these newly defined subtypes and prognosis in DCIS.
TMA including 458 women from a population-based cohort with DCIS diagnosed 1986–2004 was used. Stainings for ER, PR, HER2 and Ki67 were used to classify the surrogate molecular subtypes according to the St Gallen criteria from 2011. The associations with prognosis were examined using Kaplan-Meier analyses and Cox proportional hazards regression models.
Surrogate molecular subtyping could be done in 381 cases. Mean follow up was 164 months. Of the classified DCIS 186 were Luminal A (48.8%), 33 Luminal B/HER2- (8.7%), 74 Luminal B/HER2+ (17.4%), 61 HER2+/ER- (16.0%) and 27 Triple Negative (7.1%). One hundred and two women had a local recurrence of which 58 were invasive. Twenty-two women had generalised disease, 8 without a prior local recurrence. We could not find a prognostic significance of the molecular subtypes other than a higher risk of developing breast cancer after more than 10 years of follow-up among women with a Triple Negative DCIS (OR 3.2; 95% CI 1.1-9.8).
The results from this large population-based cohort, with long-term follow up failed to demonstrate a prognostic value for the surrogate molecular subtyping of DCIS using the St Gallen criteria up to ten years after diagnosis. More than ten years after diagnosis Triple Negative DCIS had an elevated risk of recurrence.
PMCID: PMC4228470  PMID: 24171825
3.  Breast Cancer in Young Women: Poor Survival Despite Intensive Treatment 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(11):e7695.
Breast cancer is uncommon in young women and correlates with a less favourable prognosis; still it is the most frequent cancer in women under 40, accounting for 30–40% of all incident female cancer. The aim of this study was to study prognosis in young women, quantifying how much stage at diagnosis and management on the one hand, and tumour biology on the other; each contribute to the worse prognosis seen in this age group.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In a registry based cohort of women aged 20–69 (n = 22 017) with a primary diagnosis of invasive breast cancer (1992–2005), women aged 20–34 (n = 471), 35–39 (n = 858) and 40–49 (n = 4789) were compared with women aged 50–69 years (n = 15 899). The cumulative 5-year relative survival ratio and the relative excess mortality (RER) were calculated. The cumulative 5-year relative survival ratio was lowest in women aged 20–34. The RER was 2.84 for women aged 20–34 and decreased with increasing age (RER 1.76 and 1.17 for women aged 35–39 and 40–49, respectively). The excess risk was, however, present only in disease stages I and II. For women aged 20–34 with stage I disease RER was 4.63, and 6.70 in the subgroup with tumour size 1–10 mm. The absolute difference in stage I between the youngest and the reference groups amounted to nearly 8%, with a 90% 5-year survival in women aged 20–34. In stages IIa and IIb, the relative excess risk was not as dramatic, but the absolute differences approached 15%. The youngest women with small tumours generally received more aggressive treatment than women in older age groups.
After correction for stage, tumour characteristics and treatment, age remained an independent risk factor for breast cancer death in women <35 years of age. The excess risk for young women was only seen in early stages of disease and was most pronounced in women with small tumours. Young women affected by breast cancer have a high risk of dying compared to their middle-aged counterparts even if diagnosed early and receiving an intense treatment.
PMCID: PMC2770847  PMID: 19907646
4.  Elevated levels of thymidine kinase 1 peptide in serum from patients with breast cancer 
Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences  2009;114(2):116-120.
Thymidine kinase (TK) has an important role in DNA synthesis and is thus related to cell proliferation and turn-over. Traditionally, TK has been measured by enzymatic activity or radioimmunoassays. These assays are difficult to adapt to random access instruments. The aim of this study was to evaluate a new immunological sandwich assay for detection of TK peptides in serum from breast cancer patients.
Material and methods
Serum samples were collected from patients with breast cancer and stored frozen at −70°C. The samples were collected after surgery, after metastatic tumor recurrence and after chemotherapy due to tumour recurrence. Patients’ serum samples were analysed by the TK enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
In receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analyses of TK1 for diagnosis of breast cancer, the area under the curve (AUC) collected four weeks after surgery was 0.56 (95% CI 0.47–0.65), for samples collected postsurgically after tumour recurrence 0.73 (95% CI 0.65–0.80), and after chemotherapy 0.64 (95% CI 0.56–0.72).
This study indicates that the tumour proliferation marker TK has a potential as a serum marker in breast cancer. Further studies are warranted to verify this observation.
PMCID: PMC2852757  PMID: 19396699
Antibodies; breast cancer; immunological sandwich assay; thymidine kinase
5.  Outcome of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer treated with or without adjuvant trastuzumab in the Finland Capecitabine Trial (FinXX) 
Little information is available about survival outcomes of patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer treated with adjuvant capecitabine-containing chemotherapy with or without trastuzumab.
Patients and methods.
One thousand and five hundred patients with early breast cancer were entered to the Finland Capecitabine trial (FinXX) between January 2004 and May 2007, and were randomly assigned to receive either three cycles of adjuvant TX (docetaxel, capecitabine) followed by three cycles of CEX (cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, capecitabine; TX-CEX) or three cycles of docetaxel followed by three cycles of CEF (cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, fluorouracil; T-CEF). The primary endpoint was recurrence-free survival (RFS). The study protocol was amended in May 2005 while study accrual was ongoing to allow adjuvant trastuzumab for patients with HER2-positive cancer. Of the 284 patients with HER2-positive cancer accrued to FinXX, 176 (62.0%) received trastuzumab after amending the study protocol, 131 for 12 months and 45 for nine weeks. The median follow-up time was 6.7 years.
Patients with HER2-positive cancer who received trastuzumab had better RFS than those who did not (five-year RFS 89.2% vs. 75.9%; HR 0.41, 95% CI 0.23–0.72; p = 0.001). Patients treated with trastuzumab for 12 months or nine weeks had similar RFS. There was no significant interaction between trastuzumab administration and the type of chemotherapy. Four (2.3%) patients treated with trastuzumab had heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction, three of these received capecitabine.
Adjuvant trastuzumab improves RFS of patients treated with TX-CEX or T-CEF. Few patients had cardiac failure.
PMCID: PMC3894716  PMID: 23957715

Results 1-5 (5)