Response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in women with BRCA1-positive breast cancers.
ABSTRACT There have been no studies to date which look at the relative effectiveness of different regimens of chemotherapy in women who have breast cancer and who carry a BRCA1 germ-line mutation. We wished to compare rates of response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in BRCA1 mutation carriers and non-carrier controls.
From a registry of 3,479 patients, we identified 44 Polish women who carried a BRCA1 founder mutation and who had been treated with neo-adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer, and 41 age- and hospital-matched controls.
35 of the 44 BRCA1 mutation carriers (80%) experienced a partial or complete response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, compared to 39 of the 41 (95%) non-carriers (P=0.05). In the hereditary subgroup, response rates differed depending on whether or not a taxane (docetaxel) was given. Six of the 15 BRCA1 carrier women given docetaxel with doxorubicin responded (complete or partial), compared to 29 of 29 given other (DNA-damaging) therapies (P=0.001). Among the non-carriers, the rates of response to the two categories of chemotherapy were similar.
Breast cancers among BRCA1 carriers frequently do not exhibit sensitivity to docetaxel in the neo-adjuvant setting. It is likely that normal BRCA1 is required for clinical response to mitotic spindle poisons.
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ABSTRACT: To determine, in women with primary operable breast cancer, if preoperative doxorubicin (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan; AC) therapy yields a better outcome than postoperative AC therapy, if a relationship exists between outcome and tumor response to preoperative chemotherapy, and if such therapy results in the performance of more lumpectomies. Women (1,523) enrolled onto National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) B-18 were randomly assigned to preoperative or postoperative AC therapy. Clinical tumor response to preoperative therapy was graded as complete (cCR), partial (cPR), or no response (cNR). Tumors with a cCR were further categorized as either pathologic complete response (pCR) or invasive cells (pINV). Disease-free survival (DFS), distant disease-free survival (DDFS), and survival were estimated through 5 years and compared between treatment groups. In the preoperative arm, proportional-hazards models were used to investigate the relationship between outcome and tumor response. There was no significant difference in DFS, DDFS, or survival (P = .99, .70, and .83, respectively) among patients in either group. More patients treated preoperatively than postoperatively underwent lumpectomy and radiation therapy (67.8% v 59.8%, respectively). Rates of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR) after lumpectomy were similar in both groups (7.9% and 5.8%, respectively; P = .23). Outcome was better in women whose tumors showed a pCR than in those with a pINV, cPR, or cNR (relapse-free survival [RFS] rates, 85.7%, 76.9%, 68.1%, and 63.9%, respectively; P < .0001), even when baseline prognostic variables were controlled. When prognostic models were compared for each treatment group, the preoperative model, which included breast tumor response as a variable, discriminated outcome among patients to about the same degree as the postoperative model. Preoperative chemotherapy is as effective as postoperative chemotherapy, permits more lumpectomies, is appropriate for the treatment of certain patients with stages I and II disease, and can be used to study breast cancer biology. Tumor response to preoperative chemotherapy correlates with outcome and could be a surrogate for evaluating the effect of chemotherapy on micrometastases; however, knowledge of such a response provided little prognostic information beyond that which resulted from postoperative therapy.Journal of Clinical Oncology 08/1998; 16(8):2672-85. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We have evaluated the role played by BRCA1 in mediating the phenotypic response to a range of chemotherapeutic agents commonly used in cancer treatment. Here we provide evidence that BRCA1 functions as a differential mediator of chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. Specifically, we demonstrate that BRCA1 mediates sensitivity to apoptosis induced by antimicrotubule agents but conversely induces resistance to DNA-damaging agents. These data are supported by a variety of experimental models including cells with inducible expression of BRCA1, siRNA-mediated inactivation of endogenous BRCA1, and reconstitution of BRCA1-deficient cells with wild-type BRCA1. Most notably we demonstrate that BRCA1 induces a 10-1000-fold increase in resistance to a range of DNA-damaging agents, in particular those that give rise to double-strand breaks such as etoposide or bleomycin. In contrast, BRCA1 induces a >1000-fold increase in sensitivity to the spindle poisons, paclitaxel and vinorelbine. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis demonstrated that BRCA1 mediates G(2)/M arrest in response to both antimicrotubule and DNA-damaging agents. However, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and caspase-3 cleavage assays indicate that the differential effect mediated by BRCA1 in response to these agents occurs through the inhibition or induction of apoptosis. Therefore, our data suggest that BRCA1 acts as a differential modulator of apoptosis depending on the nature of the cellular insult.Cancer Research 10/2003; 63(19):6221-8. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Germline mutations of the BRCA1 gene account for approximately 5% of breast and ovarian cancer cases, and lower than normal BRCA1 expression or function may be an important contributing factor in sporadic cancers. The major role of BRCA1 is to respond to DNA damage by participating in cellular pathways for DNA repair, mRNA transcription, cell cycle regulation, and protein ubiquitination. Because most chemotherapeutic agents function by directly or indirectly damaging DNA, the role of BRCA1 as a regulator of chemotherapy-induced DNA damage has been the subject of an increasing number of investigations. We review published preclinical and clinical evidence that the level of BRCA1 function in an individual patient's tumor can guide the choice of chemotherapeutic agents for breast and ovarian cancer. We conclude that a loss of BRCA1 function is associated with sensitivity to DNA-damaging chemotherapy and may also be associated with resistance to spindle poisons. We recommend that prospective clinical studies investigating the role of BRCA1 in the response to chemotherapy be conducted.CancerSpectrum Knowledge Environment 12/2004; 96(22):1659-68. · 14.07 Impact Factor