Maggie Cheang

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (21)178.62 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) is expressed in normal and malignant breast tissue and has been implicated in cell survival and resistance to cytotoxic therapies. We sought to assess the prognostic impact of IGF-1R expression among patients with early breast cancer and among breast cancer subtypes. Patients with stages I-III breast cancer with archival tumor tissue were included. Paraffin tissue blocks were used to construct a tissue microarray that was stained for ER, PR, Ki-67, HER2, EGFR, and cytokeratins 5/6 to classify the breast subgroups and for expression of IGF-1R, p27, and Bcl2 by immunohistochemistry. Kaplan-Meier plots were created by subtypes. Associations between IGF-1R and prognostic variables were examined in multivariate analysis. Among 2,871 eligible women the prognostic cut point for IGF-1R expression for breast-cancer-specific survival (BCSS) was Allred score < 7 versus ≥ 7. IGF-1R was ≥ 7 in 52% (LuminalA), 57.5% (LuminalB), 44.8% (LuminalHER2), 9.7% HER2-enriched, and 22.5% (Basal-like), P = 1.3 × 10(-52). IGF-1R+ was associated with age ≥ 50, lower histopathology grade, ER+, HER2 negativity (-), high p27 and high Bcl2 score. IGF-1R ≥ 7 was associated with better BCSS among LuminalB patients, hazard ratio = 0.64 (0.49-0.84); P = 1.2 × 10(-3,) and worse outcome in the HER2-enriched subtype, hazard ratio = 2.37 (1.21-4.64); P = 0.012. IGF-1R correlates with good prognostic markers among patients with early breast cancer and is differentially expressed with variable prognostic impact among breast cancer subtypes. Results may have relevance to the development of therapeutics targeting IGF-1R.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 05/2011; 132(1):131-42. DOI:10.1007/s10549-011-1529-8 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immunohistochemical markers are often used to classify breast cancer into subtypes that are biologically distinct and behave differently. The aim of this study was to estimate mortality for patients with the major subtypes of breast cancer as classified using five immunohistochemical markers, to investigate patterns of mortality over time, and to test for heterogeneity by subtype. We pooled data from more than 10,000 cases of invasive breast cancer from 12 studies that had collected information on hormone receptor status, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) status, and at least one basal marker (cytokeratin [CK]5/6 or epidermal growth factor receptor [EGFR]) together with survival time data. Tumours were classified as luminal and nonluminal tumours according to hormone receptor expression. These two groups were further subdivided according to expression of HER2, and finally, the luminal and nonluminal HER2-negative tumours were categorised according to expression of basal markers. Changes in mortality rates over time differed by subtype. In women with luminal HER2-negative subtypes, mortality rates were constant over time, whereas mortality rates associated with the luminal HER2-positive and nonluminal subtypes tended to peak within 5 y of diagnosis and then decline over time. In the first 5 y after diagnosis the nonluminal tumours were associated with a poorer prognosis, but over longer follow-up times the prognosis was poorer in the luminal subtypes, with the worst prognosis at 15 y being in the luminal HER2-positive tumours. Basal marker expression distinguished the HER2-negative luminal and nonluminal tumours into different subtypes. These patterns were independent of any systemic adjuvant therapy. The six subtypes of breast cancer defined by expression of five markers show distinct behaviours with important differences in short term and long term prognosis. Application of these markers in the clinical setting could have the potential to improve the targeting of adjuvant chemotherapy to those most likely to benefit. The different patterns of mortality over time also suggest important biological differences between the subtypes that may result in differences in response to specific therapies, and that stratification of breast cancers by clinically relevant subtypes in clinical trials is urgently required.
    PLoS Medicine 05/2010; 7(5):e1000279. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000279 · 14.43 Impact Factor

  • Cancer Research 02/2010; 69(24 Supplement):4056-4056. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.SABCS-09-4056 · 9.33 Impact Factor

  • Cancer Research 02/2010; 69(24 Supplement):78-78. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.SABCS-09-78 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    J S Parker · A Prat · M. Cheang · M E Lenburg · S. Paik · C. Perou ·

    Cancer Research 12/2009; 69(24):598s. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.SABCS-09-2019 · 9.33 Impact Factor

  • Journal of Clinical Oncology 09/2009; DOI:10.1200/JCO.2009.23.8691 · 18.43 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Clinical Oncology 06/2009; 27(18). DOI:10.1200/JCO.2009.23.0607 · 18.43 Impact Factor
  • R Yerushalmi · B Gilks · T Nielsen · S Leang · M Cheang · R Woods · K Gelmon · H Kennecke ·

    Cancer Research 02/2009; 69(2 Supplement):3048-0. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.SABCS-3048 · 9.33 Impact Factor

  • Cancer Research 02/2009; 69(2 Supplement):2025-0. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.SABCS-2025 · 9.33 Impact Factor

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    ABSTRACT: Mucosal squamous cell carcinomas are the most common head and neck malignancies. We hypothesised that over-expression of intracellular signalling proteins and decreased expression of desmoglein molecules would be associated with aggressive tumour behaviour in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Seventy-eight cases of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma were immunohistochemically stained for desmoglein 1, desmoglein 2, desmoglein 3, p53, bcl-2, vimentin, cyclin D1, p16, p21, p27, E-cadherin, and E2F-1 in paraffin-embedded tissue blocks in a microarray. The disease-specific survival was 56% at 5 years and 49% at 10 years. Expression of the desmoglein isotypes correlated positively with each other except for desmoglein 2 and desmoglein 3, which did not show a significant correlation. Desmoglein 1 and E-cadherin expression also correlated. On univariate analysis, only expression of desmoglein 1 correlated with patient outcome; lack of expression of desmoglein 1 was associated with a significantly worse disease-specific survival (p = 0.035). Hierarchical clustering analysis identified a subgroup of three patients with an immunophenotype distinct from the other tumours, characterised by co-expression of p16, p27, E2F-1 and bcl-2. Further statistical analysis of the prognostic significance of this small subgroup was not possible, but these three patients are alive and well. Decreased expression of desmoglein 1 is associated with a worse prognosis in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients. Examination of an extended panel of immunomarkers revealed a rare subtype of squamous cell carcinoma characterised by the expression of multiple proliferation-associated markers and the anti-apoptotic protein, bcl-2; determination of the prognostic significance of this subgroup will require study of a larger case series.
    Pathology 11/2008; 40(6):611-6. DOI:10.1080/00313020802320614 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 gene (HER2) is associated with a poorer outcome in node-positive breast cancer, but the results are conflicting in node-negative disease. This study assessed the prognostic impact of HER2 overexpression/amplification in a large series of node-negative breast cancers. A tissue microarray (TMA) series was constructed consisting of 4,444 invasive breast cancers diagnosed in British Columbia from 1986 to 1992. Within this series, 2,026 patients were node negative, of whom 70% did not receive adjuvant systemic therapy. The TMA series was assessed for estrogen receptor (ER) and HER2. Logistic regression modeling was used to estimate odds ratios at the 10-year follow-up. HER2 was positive in 10.2% of the node-negative cohort. In this cohort, an inferior outcome was seen in patients with HER2-positive tumors compared with HER2-negative tumors for 10-year relapse-free survival (RFS; 65.9% v 75.5%, respectively; P = .01), distant RFS (71.2% v 81.8%, respectively; P = .004), and breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS; 75.5% v 86.3%, respectively; P = .001). A trend for a worse overall survival was also seen (P = .06). HER2 was an independent poor prognostic factor for RFS and BCSS at 10 years, with odds ratios of 1.71 (P = .01) and 2.03 (P = .003), respectively. The number of HER2-positive tumors that were <or= 1 cm was small, but there was a trend for a worse outcome in T1b tumors. HER2 overexpression/amplification is correlated with a poorer outcome in node-negative breast cancer. Larger studies are needed to more clearly define the prognostic impact of HER2 in tumors <or= 1 cm, particularly within the separate hormone receptor subgroups.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 11/2008; 26(35):5697-704. DOI:10.1200/JCO.2007.15.8659 · 18.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fatty acid synthase (FASN) expression has been reported in many different tumors, including breast cancer. In gene microarray studies, the fatty acid synthase gene co-clustered with cytokeratins 5 and 17 and other genes that defined the basal-like subset of breast cancers. To define the use of this marker in breast pathology, a rabbit polyclonal antiserum (S143) to a peptide fragment of this gene was produced and compared with a commercially available monoclonal antibody by immunohistochemistry on various tissue microarrays and whole tissue sections. The tissue microarrays included 1090 breast cancers and 244 normal breast tissues. Whole tissue sections consisted of benign and malignant tissues from breast resection specimens. In contrast to other 'basal' markers identified by gene expression profiling data, the fatty acid synthase (FASN) expression pattern in normal breast was notable for its expression in only a small subset of basal and suprabasal cells. Dual staining experiments revealed that the subpopulation of cells labeling with FASN did not coexpress myoepithelial markers CK5/6 or p63, but did coexpress e-cadherin. In addition to staining a subset of basal and suprabasal cells, the antiserum highlighted apocrine differentiation, and stained 106/144 (74%) cases of columnar cell lesions and five of five cases of flat epithelial atypia. Despite its association with basal keratins in gene array studies, FASN expression did not correlate significantly with the outcome in breast cancer. We describe an expression pattern that highlights only a subset of basal and suprabasal cells in normal breast ducts and we show by dual expression studies that this subset of cells is different from myoepithelial and basal cytokeratin-positive cells. In addition, FASN expression is described in apocrine metaplasia, columnar cell lesions, and flat epithelial atypia.
    Modern Pathology 10/2008; 21(12):1413-20. DOI:10.1038/modpathol.2008.163 · 6.19 Impact Factor
  • David Voduc · Torsten O Nielsen · Maggie C Cheang · William D Foulkes ·
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    ABSTRACT: Gene expression studies have identified a basal phenotype of breast cancer; these are hormone receptor and HER2-negative cancers with poor prognosis. High levels of cyclin E and Skp2, and low levels of p27 have previously been individually associated with both basal-like breast cancer and a poor outcome after diagnosis. The goal of this study was to first confirm the prognostic value of these biomolecular markers using a breast cancer tissue microarray. Second, we also test the hypothesis that the combined phenotype of high cyclin E, low p27, and high Skp2 would be a strong predictor of outcome and would be closely associated with the basal phenotype of breast cancer. Our cohort consisted of 438 cases of breast cancer and the median follow-up was 15.4 years. The tissue microarray was constructed from archival tumor blocks and we used commercially available antibodies for biomarker immunostaining. Cyclin E was positive in 46% of cases, p27 was negative in 62%, and Skp2 was positive in 35%. We found cyclin E and Skp2 to be prognostic for breast cancer-specific survival in univariate analyses, but p27 was not prognostic. The strongest predictor of outcome was the combination of cyclin E positive and Skp2 positive (difference in survival of 19% at 10 years, P = .0009). This combination was present in 78 (27%) of 288 cases for which data on both biomarkers were available. This combination was also highly associated with young age at diagnosis, grade 3 tumors, ER-negative status, HER2-negative status, and the basal biomarkers epidermal growth factor receptor and cytokeratin 5/6. However, in a multivariate model including standard clinicopathologic variables, this combination was not found to have independent prognostic significance. In conclusion, the combination of high cyclin E and Skp2 expression predicts for poor prognosis in breast cancer in univariate analysis only, it is associated with high risk features, and it is associated with the basal phenotype.
    Human pathology 08/2008; 39(10):1431-7. DOI:10.1016/j.humpath.2008.03.004 · 2.77 Impact Factor
  • M. Cheang · D. Voduc · D. Turbin · V. L. Cryns · T. O. Nielsen ·

    EJC Supplements 04/2008; 6(7):60-60. DOI:10.1016/S1359-6349(08)70349-5 · 9.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously demonstrated in a pilot study of 348 invasive breast cancers that mast cell (MC) infiltrates within primary breast cancers are associated with a good prognosis. Our aim was to verify this finding in a larger cohort of invasive breast cancer patients and examine the relationship between the presence of MCs and other clinical and pathological features. Clinically annotated tissue microarrays (TMAs) containing 4,444 cases were constructed and stained with c-Kit (CD-117) using standard immunoperoxidase techniques to identify and quantify MCs. For statistical analysis, we applied a split-sample validation technique. Breast cancer specific survival was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier [KM] method and log rank test was used to compare survival curves. Survival analysis by KM method showed that the presence of stromal MCs was a favourable prognostic factor in the training set (P = 0.001), and the validation set group (P = 0.006). X-tile plot generated to define the optimal number of MCs showed that the presence of any number of stromal MCs predicted good prognosis. Multivariate analysis showed that the MC effect in the training set (Hazard ratio [HR] = 0.804, 95% Confidence interval [CI], 0.653-0.991, P = 0.041) and validation set analysis (HR = 0.846, 95% CI, 0.683-1.049, P = 0.128) was independent of age, tumor grade, tumor size, lymph node, ER and Her2 status. This study concludes that stromal MC infiltration in invasive breast cancer is an independent good prognostic marker and reiterates the critical role of local inflammatory responses in breast cancer progression.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 02/2008; 107(2):249-57. DOI:10.1007/s10549-007-9546-3 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    David Voduc · Maggie Cheang · Torsten Nielsen ·
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    ABSTRACT: GATA-3 is a transcription factor involved in human growth and differentiation. Gene expression profiling has shown that GATA-3 is highly expressed in the Luminal A subtype of breast cancer. A recent study found GATA-3 to be associated with favorable breast cancer pathologic features, including negative lymph node and positive estrogen receptor (ER) status. GATA-3 levels were also found to be an independent prognostic marker, with low expression predicting for breast cancer recurrence. Our case series consists of 3,119 cases of invasive breast cancer in which GATA-3 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays. We considered >5% nuclear staining to be a positive result for GATA-3. Thirty-two percent of cases were GATA-3 positive. GATA-3 is almost exclusively expressed in ER+ patients and is also associated with lower tumor grade, older age at diagnosis, and the absence of Her2 overexpression. In univariate analysis, the presence of GATA-3 is a marker of good prognosis and predicted for superior breast cancer-specific survival, relapse-free survival, and overall survival. However, in multivariate models including patient age, tumor size, histologic grade, nodal status, ER status, and Her2 status, GATA-3 was not independently prognostic for these same outcomes. In the subgroups of ER+ patients treated with or without tamoxifen, GATA-3 was again nonprognostic for all outcomes. GATA-3 is a molecular marker that is highly associated with ER expression, but it does not seem to have prognostic value independent of ER, nor does it predict for response to tamoxifen among ER-positive patients.
    Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 02/2008; 17(2):365-73. DOI:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-06-1090 · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phosphorylated Akt (P-Akt) is an attractive molecular target because it contributes to the development of breast cancer and confers resistance to conventional therapies. Akt also serves as a signalling intermediate for receptors such as human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)-2, which is overexpressed in 30% of breast cancers; therefore, inhibitors to this pathway are being sought. New celecoxib analogues reportedly inhibit P-Akt in prostate cancer cells. We therefore examined the potential of these compounds in the treatment of breast cancer. The analogues were characterized in MDA-MB-453 cells because they overexpress HER-2 and have very high levels of P-Akt. To evaluate the effect of the celecoxib analogues, immunoblotting was used to identify changes in the phosphorylation of Akt and its downstream substrates glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) and 4E binding protein (4EBP-1). In vitro kinase assays were then used to assess the effect of the drugs on Akt activity. Cell death was evaluated by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage, nucleosomal fragmentation and MTS assays. Finally, tumour tissue microarrays were screened for P-Akt and HER-2 expression. OSU-03012 and OSU-O3013 inhibited P-Akt and its downstream signalling through 4EBP-1 and GSK at concentrations well below that of celecoxib. Disruption of P-Akt was followed by induction of apoptosis and more than 90% cell death. We also noted that the cytotoxicity of the celecoxib analogues was not significantly affected by serum. In contrast, the presence of 5% serum protected cells from celecoxib induced death. Thus, the structural modification of the celecoxib analogues increased P-Akt inhibition and enhanced the bioavailability of the drugs in vitro. To assess how many patients may potentially benefit from such drugs we screened tumour tissue microarrays. P-Akt was highly activated in 58% (225/390) of cases, whereas it was only similarly expressed in 35% (9/26) of normal breast tissues. Furthermore, HER-2 positive tumours expressed high levels of P-Akt (P < 0.01), supporting in vitro signal transduction. We determined that Celecoxib analogues are potent inhibitors of P-Akt signalling and kill breast cancer cells that overexpress HER-2. We also defined an association between HER-2 and P-Akt in primary breast tissues, suggesting that these inhibitors may benefit patients in need of new treatment options.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 08/2005; 7(5):R796-807. DOI:10.1186/bcr1294 · 5.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Expression profiling studies classified breast carcinomas into estrogen receptor (ER)+/luminal, normal breast-like, HER2 overexpressing, and basal-like groups, with the latter two associated with poor outcomes. Currently, there exist clinical assays that identify ER+/luminal and HER2-overexpressing tumors, and we sought to develop a clinical assay for breast basal-like tumors. To identify an immunohistochemical profile for breast basal-like tumors, we collected a series of known basal-like tumors and tested them for protein patterns that are characteristic of this subtype. Next, we examined the significance of these protein patterns using tissue microarrays and evaluated the prognostic significance of these findings. Using a panel of 21 basal-like tumors, which was determined using gene expression profiles, we saw that this subtype was typically immunohistochemically negative for estrogen receptor and HER2 but positive for basal cytokeratins, HER1, and/or c-KIT. Using breast carcinoma tissue microarrays representing 930 patients with 17.4-year mean follow-up, basal cytokeratin expression was associated with low disease-specific survival. HER1 expression was observed in 54% of cases positive for basal cytokeratins (versus 11% of negative cases) and was associated with poor survival independent of nodal status and size. c-KIT expression was more common in basal-like tumors than in other breast cancers but did not influence prognosis. A panel of four antibodies (ER, HER1, HER2, and cytokeratin 5/6) can accurately identify basal-like tumors using standard available clinical tools and shows high specificity. These studies show that many basal-like tumors express HER1, which suggests candidate drugs for evaluation in these patients.
    Clinical Cancer Research 09/2004; 10(16):5367-74. DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-04-0220 · 8.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tissue microarrays containing 348 cases of invasive breast carcinoma were studied by immunohistochemical staining for CD-117, CD-3, CD-20, CD-68, Her2, estrogen receptor protein, and progesterone receptor protein, and results were correlated with patient outcome. Hormone receptor status (both estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor) correlated with a good outcome while Her2 overexpression was associated with a poor outcome. The presence of mast cells in the stroma, as demonstrated by positive c-kit (CD-117) staining, correlated with a good prognosis (P=0.0036). On subset analysis, this association between the presence of mast cells and favorable prognosis was present in the node-negative patients (P=0.018). The presence of mast cells showed an inverse correlation with the presence of CD-68 positive macrophages. No correlation was observed between the presence of mast cells and either B-cells (CD20-positive) or T-cells (CD3-positive). The presence of stromal mast cells was of prognostic significance independent of nodal status and tumor size (P=0.02). When the multivariate analysis was expanded to include tumor grade, estrogen receptor status and Her2 status, as well as tumor size and nodal status, the presence of stromal mast cells approached significance as an independent prognostic indicator.
    Modern Pathology 07/2004; 17(6):690-5. DOI:10.1038/modpathol.3800094 · 6.19 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
178.62 Total Impact Points


  • 2011
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
      North Carolina, United States
  • 2008-2010
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      • • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
      • • Genetic Pathology Evaluation Center (GPEC)
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • The University of Edinburgh
      • Credit Research Centre
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2004-2008
    • Vancouver General Hospital
      • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (UBC)
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • Stanford Medicine
      Stanford, California, United States