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1.  Alterations of the genes involved in the PI3K and estrogen-receptor pathways influence outcome in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive and hormone receptor-positive breast cancer patients treated with trastuzumab-containing neoadjuvant chemotherapy 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:241.
Chemotherapy with trastuzumab is widely used for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer, but a significant number of patients with the tumor fail to respond, or relapse. The mechanisms of recurrence and biomarkers that indicate the response to the chemotherapy and outcome are not fully investigated.
Genomic alterations were analyzed using single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays in 46 HER2 immunohistochemistry (IHC) 3+ or 2+/fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH)+ breast cancers that were treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy with paclitaxel, cyclophosphamid, epirubicin, fluorouracil, and trastuzumab. Patients were classified into two groups based on presence or absence of alterations of 65 cancer-associated genes, and the two groups were further classified into four groups based on genomic HER2 copy numbers or hormone receptor status (HR+/−). Pathological complete response (pCR) and relapse-free survival (RFS) rates were compared between any two of the groups.
Results and discussion
The pCR rate was 54% in 37 patients, and the RFS rate at 3 years was 72% (95% CI, 0.55-0.89) in 42 patients. The analysis disclosed 8 tumors with nonamplified HER2 and 38 tumors with HER2 amplification, indicating the presence of discordance in tumors diagnosed using current HER2 testing. The 8 patients showed more difficulty in achieving pCR (P=0.019), more frequent relapse (P=0.018), and more frequent alterations of genes in the PI3K pathway (P=0.009) than the patients with HER2 amplification. The alterations of the PI3K and estrogen receptor (ER) pathway genes generally indicated worse RFS rates. The prognostic significance of the alterations was shown in patients with a HR+ tumor, but not in patients with a HR- tumor when divided. Alterations of the PI3K and ER pathway genes found in patients with a HR+ tumor with poor outcome suggested that crosstalk between the two pathways may be involved in resistance to the current chemotherapy with trastuzumab.
We recommend FISH analysis as a primary HER2 testing because patients with IHC 2+/3+ and nonamplified HER2 had poor outcome. We also support concurrent use of trastuzumab, lapatinib, and cytotoxic and anti-hormonal agents for patients having HR+ tumors with alterations of the PI3K and ER pathway genes.
PMCID: PMC3663661  PMID: 23679233
HER2; SNP array; Trastuzumab; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; PI3K pathway; Estrogen receptor pathway; Complete pathological response; Relapse-free survival
2.  Analysis of complete response by MRI following neoadjuvant chemotherapy predicts pathological tumor responses differently for molecular subtypes of breast cancer 
Oncology Letters  2012;5(1):83-89.
In the present study, clinical tumor response following neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) was diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and clinicopathological factors, including molecular subtypes at baseline, were analyzed for correlations with pathological tumor responses. In addition, clinicopathological factors were analyzed for a correlation with the MRI capacity to predict pathological complete response (pCR). Clinical tumor response evaluated by MRI following NAC was determined as a clinical CR (cCR) or a residual tumor. cCR was confirmed if no gadolinium enhancement or an enhancement equal to or less than that of glandular tissue was observed in any phase of the MRI. Pathological tumor responses following NAC were classified into grades 0 (no change) to 3 (no residual invasive cancer) according to criteria of the Japanese Breast Cancer Society. pCR was defined as grade 3 in the present study. Of 264 cases of invasive breast cancer in 260 patients (4 synchronous bilateral breast cancer cases), 59 (22%) were diagnosed by MRI following NAC as cCR and 98 (37%) were pathologically diagnosed as pCR. In terms of predicting pCR by MRI, the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) were 44, 90, 73, 73 and 73%, respectively. Tumor size, hormone receptor status, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status, molecular subtype and histological type were significantly correlated with pathological tumor responses. pCR rates increased in the following order: luminal/HER2-negative (14%), luminal/HER2-positive (32%), triple-negative (46%) and non-luminal/HER2-positive (73%) tumors. Sensitivity and specificity were the highest (60 and 100%, respectively) in triple-negative tumors. PPV decreased in the following order: triple-negative (100%), non-luminal/HER2-positive (92%), luminal/HER2-positive (46%) and luminal/HER2-negative (33%) tumors. In conclusion, MRI evaluation is useful for predicting pCR following NAC, particularly for triple-negative tumors.
PMCID: PMC3525359  PMID: 23255899
breast cancer; magnetic resonance imaging; clinical complete response; pathological complete response; molecular subtype
3.  Ischaemia in the Zinn–Haller circle and glaucomatous optic neuropathy in macaque monkeys 
To elucidate the morphological features of optic neuropathy in an ischaemic model of glaucoma in macaque monkeys.
The regional degenerative process was investigated by experimentally occluding the paraoptic branches of the lateral short posterior ciliary artery, that is, the circle of Haller and Zinn, in 11 eyes. Morphological changes in nerve fibres in the lamina cribrosa were evaluated by histopathology, immunocytochemistry and angiography, and the findings were compared with those observed in an aged macaque with spontaneous glaucomatous optic neuropathy.
Retinal ganglion cell axons were grouped in bundles and traversed through pores in columns of the lamina cribrosa. The processes of astrocytes extended to the bundles, and capillaries branched in surrounding connective tissue from the circular arterioles. Experimental ischaemia induced time-dependent anoxic deterioration of phosphorylated fibres in the temporal arcuate zone, accompanied by glial proliferation. A monkey with spontaneous visual impairment had nerve fibre loss and gliosis with collagenous proliferation in the temporal hemisphere, suggesting glaucomatous neuropathy.
Circulatory interference in the circle of Haller and Zinn caused time-dependent deterioration in the area where anoxic segmental degeneration is associated with pathogenesis of open-angle glaucoma.
PMCID: PMC3308474  PMID: 22223748
Experimental glaucoma; circle of Haller and Zinn; ischaemic optic neuropathy; macaque glaucoma; glaucoma
4.  Pathological tumor response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy using anthracycline and taxanes in patients with triple-negative breast cancer 
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.
PMCID: PMC3440659  PMID: 22977494
triple-negative breast cancer; p53; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; pathological complete response; basal-like

Results 1-4 (4)