Christian F Singer

Medical University of Vienna, Wien, Vienna, Austria

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Publications (232)993.04 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers are at substantially increased risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer. The incomplete penetrance coupled with the variable age at diagnosis in carriers of the same mutation suggests the existence of genetic and non-genetic modifying factors. In this study we evaluated the putative role of variants in many candidate modifier genes. Methods: Genotyping data from 15,252 BRCA1 and 8,211 BRCA2 mutation carriers, for known variants (n=3,248) located within or around 445 candidate genes, were available through the iCOGS custom-designed array. Breast and ovarian cancer association analysis was performed within a retrospective cohort approach. Results: The observed p-values of association ranged between 0.005-1.000. None of the variants was significantly associated with breast or ovarian cancer risk in either BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers, after multiple testing adjustments. Conclusion: There is little evidence that any of the evaluated candidate variants act as modifiers of breast and/or ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers. Impact: Genome-wide association studies have been more successful at identifying genetic modifiers of BRCA1/2 penetrance than candidate gene studies.
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    ABSTRACT: Inherited mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) confer very high risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Genetic testing and counseling can reduce risk and death from these cancers if appropriate preventive strategies are applied, including risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) or risk-reducing mastectomy (RRM). However, some women who might benefit from these interventions do not take full advantage of them. We evaluated RRSO and RRM use in a prospective cohort of 1,499 women with inherited BRCA1/2 mutations from 20 centers who enrolled in the study without prior cancer or RRSO or RRM and were followed forward for the occurrence of these events. We estimated the age-specific usage of RRSO/RRM in this cohort using Kaplan-Meier analyses. Use of RRSO was 45 % for BRCA1 and 34 % for BRCA2 by age 40, and 86 % for BRCA1 and 71 % for BRCA2 by age 50. RRM usage was estimated to be 46 % by age 70 in both BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers. BRCA1 mutation carriers underwent RRSO more frequently than BRCA2 mutation carriers overall, but the uptake of RRSO in BRCA2 was similar after mutation testing and in women born since 1960. RRM uptake was similar for both BRCA1 and BRCA2. Childbearing influenced the use of RRSO and RRM in both BRCA1 and BRCA2. Uptake of RRSO is high, but some women are still diagnosed with ovarian cancer before undergoing RRSO. This suggests that research is needed to understand the optimal timing of RRSO to maximize risk reduction and limit potential adverse consequences of RRSO.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 10/2014; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Men with a BRCA2 mutation face substantial lifetime risks for the development of both breast and prostate cancer.
    Clinical Genetics 08/2014; · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Women with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer may be at increased risk of cancer after exposure to ionizing radiation. It is unclear whether mammography screening increases the risk of breast cancer among BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers. We identified 2,346 women with a BRCA1 (n = 1844) or BRCA2 (n = 502) mutation and no breast cancer, and we reviewed their history of mammography exposure. These women were followed for an average of 5.3 years and were observed for new breast cancer diagnoses. At study entry, 1808 women (77.1 %) reported ever having had a mammogram; of these, 204 women (11.2 %) reported having had a mammogram before age 30. We estimated the hazard ratios for the development of invasive breast cancer, conditional on the number of prior mammograms and on the age at first mammogram. Hazard ratios were estimated and stratified by gene (BRCA1 or BRCA2), relative to women with no exposure. We observed no significant association between prior mammography exposure and breast cancer risk for BRCA1 carriers (HR 0.79; 95 % CI 0.53-1.19; P = 0.26) or for BRCA2 carriers (HR 0.90; 95 % CI 0.35-2.34; P = 0.83). An early age at first mammogram (<30 years) did not increase breast cancer risk among BRCA1 carriers (HR 0.75; 95 % CI 0.41-1.37; P = 0.35) or among BRCA2 carriers (HR 0.69; 95 % CI 0.19-2.48; P = 0.57). Exposure to mammography in women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations is not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 08/2014; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Validated multigene signatures (MGS) provide additional prognostic information when evaluating clinical features of ER(+), HER2(-) early breast cancer. We have studied the quantitative and qualitative impact of MGS on multidisciplinary team (MDT) recommendations.Methods:We prospectively recruited 75 ER(+), HER2(-) breast cancer patients. Inclusion was based on biopsy assessment of grade, hormone receptor status, HER2, clinical tumour and nodal status. A fresh tissue sample was sent for MammaPrint (MP), TargetPrint analysis at surgery. Clinical risk was decided by the MDT in the absence of MP results and repeated following the collection of MP results. Decision changes were recorded and a health technology assessment was undertaken to compare cost effectiveness.Results:The majority of patients were assigned low to intermediate clinical risk by the MDT. According to MP, 76% were low risk. A very high correlation between local IHC and the TargetPrint assessment was shown. In over a third of patients, discordance between clinical and molecular risk was observed. Decision changes were recorded in half of these cases (18.6%) and resulted in two out of three patients not requiring chemotherapy. The use of MP was also found to be more cost effective.Conclusions:The multigene signature MP revealed clinical and molecular risk discordance in a third of patients. The impact of this on MDT recommendations was most profound in cases where few clinical risk factors were observed and enabled some women to forgo chemotherapy. The use of MGS is unlikely to have an impact in either clinically low-risk women or in patients with more than one relative indication for chemotherapy.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 8 July 2014; doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.339
    British Journal of Cancer 07/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Women with a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 face a lifetime risk of breast cancer of approximately 80 %. Tamoxifen treatment of the first cancer has been associated with a reduction in the risk of a subsequent contralateral cancer. We studied 1,504 women with a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, 411 women with bilateral breast cancer (cases) and 1,093 women with unilateral breast cancer (controls) in a matched case-control study. Control women were of similar age and had a similar age of diagnosis of first breast cancer as the cases. For each woman who used tamoxifen, the starting and stopping dates were abstracted and the duration of tamoxifen use was calculated. Three hundred and thirty-one women had used tamoxifen (22 %); of these 84 (25 %) had completed four or more years of tamoxifen, the remainder stopped prematurely or were current users. For women with up to 1 year of tamoxifen use, the odds ratio for contralateral breast cancer was 0.37 (95 % CI 0.20-0.69; p = 0.001) compared to women with no tamoxifen use. Among women with 1-4 years of tamoxifen use the odds ratio was 0.53 (95 % CI 0.32-0.87; p = 0.01). Among women with four or more years of tamoxifen use the odds ratio was 0.83 (95 % CI 0.44-1.55; p = 0.55). Short-term use of tamoxifen for chemoprevention in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers may be as effective as a conventional 5-year course of treatment.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 06/2014; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in the DNA Base Excision Repair (BER) pathway could be associated with cancer risk in carriers of mutations in the high-penetrance susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, given the relation of synthetic lethality that exists between one of the components of the BER pathway, PARP1 (poly ADP ribose polymerase), and both BRCA1 and BRCA2. In the present study, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of 18 genes involved in BER using a tagging SNP approach in a large series of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. 144 SNPs were analyzed in a two stage study involving 23,463 carriers from the CIMBA consortium (the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1 and BRCA2). Eleven SNPs showed evidence of association with breast and/or ovarian cancer at p<0.05 in the combined analysis. Four of the five genes for which strongest evidence of association was observed were DNA glycosylases. The strongest evidence was for rs1466785 in the NEIL2 (endonuclease VIII-like 2) gene (HR: 1.09, 95% CI (1.03-1.16), p = 2.7×10-3) for association with breast cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers, and rs2304277 in the OGG1 (8-guanine DNA glycosylase) gene, with ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 mutation carriers (HR: 1.12 95%CI: 1.03-1.21, p = 4.8×10-3). DNA glycosylases involved in the first steps of the BER pathway may be associated with cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and should be more comprehensively studied.
    PLoS Genetics 04/2014; 10(4):e1004256. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purposes of this study were to estimate the reduction in risk of ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer in women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation after oophorectomy, by age of oophorectomy; to estimate the impact of prophylactic oophorectomy on all-cause mortality; and to estimate 5-year survival associated with clinically detected ovarian, occult, and peritoneal cancers diagnosed in the cohort. Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation were identified from an international registry; 5,783 women completed a baseline questionnaire and ≥ one follow-up questionnaires. Women were observed until either diagnosis of ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer, death, or date of most recent follow-up. Hazard ratios (HRs) for cancer incidence and all-cause mortality associated with oophorectomy were evaluated using time-dependent survival analyses. After an average follow-up period of 5.6 years, 186 women developed either ovarian (n = 132), fallopian (n = 22), or peritoneal (n = 32) cancer, of whom 68 have died. HR for ovarian, fallopian, or peritoneal cancer associated with bilateral oophorectomy was 0.20 (95% CI, 0.13 to 0.30; P < .001). Among women who had no history of cancer at baseline, HR for all-cause mortality to age 70 years associated with an oophorectomy was 0.23 (95% CI, 0.13 to 0.39; P < .001). Preventive oophorectomy was associated with an 80% reduction in the risk of ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer in BRCA1 or BRCA2 carriers and a 77% reduction in all-cause mortality.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 02/2014; · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To assess the prognostic value of the PAM50 risk-of-recurrence (ROR) score on late distant recurrence (beyond 5 years after diagnosis and treatment) in a large cohort of postmenopausal, endocrine-responsive breast cancer patients.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The PAM50 assay was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded whole-tumor sections of patients who had been enrolled in the Austrian Breast and Colorectal Cancer Study Group Trial 8 (ABCSG-8). RNA expression levels of the PAM50 genes were determined centrally using the nCounter Dx Analysis System. Late distant recurrence-free survival (DRFS) was analyzed using Cox models adjusted for clinical and pathologic parameters.RESULTS: PAM50 analysis was successfully performed in 1,246 ABCSG-8 patients. PAM50 ROR score and ROR-based risk groups provided significant additional prognostic information with respect to late DRFS compared with a combined score of clinical factors alone (ROR score: ΔLRχ2 15.32, P < 0.001; ROR-based risk groups: ΔLRχ2 14.83, P < 0.001). Between years 5 and 15, we observed an absolute risk of distant recurrence of 2.4% in the low ROR-based risk group, as compared with 17.5% in the high ROR-based risk group. The DRFS differences according to the PAM50 ROR score were observed for both node-positive and node-negative disease.CONCLUSION: PAM50 ROR score and ROR-based risk groups can differentiate patients with breast cancer with respect to their risk for late distant recurrence beyond what can be achieved with established clinicopathologic risk factors.
    Clinical Cancer Research 02/2014; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is not clear if early oral contraceptive use increases the risk of breast cancer among young women with a breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) mutation. Given the benefit of oral contraceptives for the prevention of ovarian cancer, estimating age-specific risk ratios for oral contraceptive use and breast cancer is important. We conducted a case-control study of 2,492 matched pairs of women with a deleterious BRCA1 mutation. Breast cancer cases and unaffected controls were matched on year of birth and country of residence. Detailed information about oral contraceptive use was collected from a routinely administered questionnaire. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for the association between oral contraceptive and breast cancer, by age at first use and by age at diagnosis. Among BRCA1 mutation carriers, oral contraceptive use was significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer for women who started the pill prior to age 20 (OR 1.45; 95 % CI 1.20-1.75; P = 0.0001) and possibly between ages 20 and 25 as well (OR 1.19; 95 % CI 0.99-1.42; P = 0.06). The effect was limited to breast cancers diagnosed before age 40 (OR 1.40; 95 % CI 1.14-1.70; P = 0.001); the risk of early-onset breast cancer increased by 11 % with each additional year of pill use when initiated prior to age 20 (OR 1.11; 95 % CI 1.03-1.20; P = 0.008). There was no observed increase for women diagnosed at or after the age of 40 (OR 0.97; 95 % CI 0.79-1.20; P = 0.81). Oral contraceptive use before age 25 increases the risk of early-onset breast cancer among women with a BRCA1 mutation and the risk increases with duration of use. Caution should be taken when advising women with a BRCA1 mutation to take an oral contraceptive prior to age 25.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 02/2014; 143(3):579-86. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PAM50 is a 50-gene test that is designed to identify intrinsic breast cancer subtypes and generate a Risk of Recurrence (ROR) score. It has been developed to be carried out in qualified routine hospital pathology laboratories. One thousand four hundred seventy-eight postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor (ER)+ early breast cancer (EBC) treated with tamoxifen or tamoxifen followed by anastrozole from the prospective randomized ABCSG-8 trial were entered into this study. Patients did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy. RNA was extracted from paraffin blocks and analyzed using the PAM50 test. Both intrinsic subtype (luminal A/B, HER2-enriched, basal-like) and ROR score were calculated. The primary analysis was designed to test whether the continuous ROR score adds prognostic value in predicting distant recurrence (DR) over and above standard clinical variables. In all tested subgroups, ROR score significantly adds prognostic information to the clinical predictor (P < 0.0001). PAM50 assigns an intrinsic subtype to all cases, and the luminal A cohort had a significantly lower ROR at 10 years compared with Luminal B (P < 0.0001). Significant and clinically relevant discrimination between low- and high-risk groups occurred also within all tested subgroups. The results of the primary analysis, in combination with recently published results from the ATAC trial, constitute Level 1 evidence for clinical validity of the PAM50 test for predicting the risk of DR in postmenopausal women with ER+ EBC. A 10-year metastasis risk of <3.5% in the ROR low category makes it unlikely that additional chemotherapy would improve this outcome-this finding could help to avoid unwarranted overtreatment. ABCSG 8: NCT00291759.
    Annals of Oncology 02/2014; 25(2):339-45. · 7.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: This randomized phase III trial compared pathologic complete response (pCR) rates of early breast cancer (EBC) following neoadjuvant epirubicin–docetaxel (ED) ± capecitabine (C), and evaluated the addition of trastuzumab in HER2-positive tumors. Patients and methods: Patients with invasive breast cancer (except T4d) were randomly assigned to receive six 3-weekly cycles of ED (both 75 mg/m2) ± C (1000 mg/m2, twice daily, days 1–14). Patients with HER2-positive disease were further randomized to receive trastuzumab (8 mg/kg, then 6 mg/kg every 3 weeks) or not. Primary end point: pCR rate at the time of surgery. Results: Five hundred thirty-six patients were randomized to ED (n = 266) or EDC (n = 270); 93 patients were further randomized to trastuzumab (n = 44) or not (n = 49). pCR rate was significantly increased with EDC (23.0% versus 15.4% ED, P = 0.027), and nonsignificantly further increased with trastuzumab (38.6% EDC versus 26.5% ED, P = 0.212). Rates of axillary node involvement at surgery and breast conservation were improved with EDC versus ED, but not significantly; the addition of trastuzumab had no further impact. Hormone receptor status, tumor size, grade, and C (all P ≤ 0.035) were independent prognostic factors for pCR. Trastuzumab added to ED ± C significantly increased the number of serious adverse events (35 versus 18; P = 0.020), mainly due to infusion-related reactions. Conclusion: These findings show that the integration of C into a neoadjuvant taxane-/anthracycline-based regimen is a feasible, safe, and effective treatment option, with incorporation of trastuzumab in HER2-positive disease. Clinical trial number: NCT00309556, Key words: capecitabine, docetaxel, early breast cancer, epirubicin, neoadjuvant treatment
    Annals of Oncology 12/2013; · 7.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite patient selection based on ERBB2-overexpression, not all patients benefit from trastuzumab therapy. We have investigated whether a ERBB2 gene dosage effect might provoke increased biological aggressiveness and altered trastuzumab sensitivity. Absolute ERBB2 copy numbers ("CN") and ERBB2/centromer 17 ratios ("R") were measured by FISH analysis in tumors of 127 patients receiving trastuzumab-based treatment for Her-2/neu over-expressing metastatic breast cancer. CN and R were both significantly associated with shorter time to first metastasis (TTM) (CN: OR: 1.099, 95% CI: 1.042-1.159; R: OR: 1.211, 95% CI: 1.080-1.357) and longer PFS (CN: OR: 0.917, 95% CI: 0.867-0.969; R: OR: 0.840, 95% CI: 0.743-0.949) in a continuous variable Cox Regression model. Tumors with ERBB2/centromer 17 ratios of <2.2 had a significantly shorter TTM (p=0.002) and significantly longer PFS (p=0.003) than tumors with low-level (R: 2.2-6) and high-level amplification (R:>6). Interestingly, when ERBB2 copy numbers were analysed, a significantly shorter TTM (p=0.001) and longer PFS (p=0.026) were observed in the group with high-level amplified CN (CN:>13), while no difference was observed between non- and low-level amplified CN. R, but not CN, was an independent predictor of complete (CR; OR: 1.685; 95%CI: 1.122-2.532) and partial (PR; OR: 1.704; 95% CI: 1.136-2.556) response in Logistic Regression analysis. CR (p=0.016) rates were significantly higher in the high-level amplification group (R>6), but no difference existed in response rates between non- and low-level amplified tumors in Chi-Square tests.High-level ERBB2 amplification is associated with shorter TTM but improved response to trastuzumab in metastatic breast cancer. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    International Journal of Cancer 12/2013; · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Change of DNA cytosine methylation (5mC) is an early event in the development of cancer, and the recent discovery of a 5-hydroxymethylated form (5hmC) of cytosine suggests a regulatory epigenetic role that might be different from 5-methylcytosine. Here, we aimed at elucidating the role of 5hmC in breast cancer. To interrogate the 5hmC levels of the leucine zipper, putative tumor suppressor 1 (LZTS1) gene in detail, we analyzed 75 primary breast cancer tissue samples from initial diagnosis and 12 normal breast tissue samples derived from healthy persons. Samples were subjected to 5hmC glucosyltransferase treatment followed by restriction digestion and segment-specific amplification of 11 polymerase chain reaction products. Nine of the 11 5'LZTS1 fragments showed significantly lower (fold change of 1.61-6.01, P < .05) 5hmC content in primary breast cancer tissue compared to normal breast tissue samples. No significant differences were observed for 5mC DNA methylation. Furthermore, both LZTS1 and TET1 mRNA expressions were significantly reduced in tumor samples (n = 75, P < .001, Student's t test), which correlated significantly with 5hmC levels in samples. 5hmC levels in breast cancer tissues were associated with unfavorable histopathologic parameters such as lymph node involvement (P < .05, Student's t test). A decrease of 5hmC levels of LZTS1, a classic tumor suppressor gene known to influence metastasis in breast cancer progression, is correlated to down-regulation of LZTS1 mRNA expression in breast cancer and might epigenetically enhance carcinogenesis. The study provides support for the novel hypothesis that suggests a strong influence of 5hmC on mRNA expression. Finally, one may also consider 5hmC as a new biomarker.
    Translational oncology 12/2013; 6(6):715-21. · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes confer increased susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer and to a spectrum of other cancers. There is controversy regarding the risk of colorectal cancer conferred by germline mutations in these two genes.
    British Journal of Cancer 11/2013; 110(2):530-534. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:ER+/HER2- breast cancers have a proclivity for late recurrence. A personalised estimate of relapse risk after 5 years of endocrine treatment can improve patient selection for extended hormonal therapy.Methods:A total of 1702 postmenopausal ER+/HER2- breast cancer patients from two adjuvant phase III trials (ABCSG6, ABCSG8) treated with 5 years of endocrine therapy participated in this study. The multigene test EndoPredict (EP) and the EPclin score (which combines EP with tumour size and nodal status) were predefined in independent training cohorts. All patients were retrospectively assigned to risk categories based on gene expression and on clinical parameters. The primary end point was distant metastasis (DM). Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression analysis were used in an early (0-5 years) and late time interval (>5 years post diagnosis).Results:EP is a significant, independent, prognostic parameter in the early and late time interval. The expression levels of proliferative and ER signalling genes contribute differentially to the underlying biology of early and late DM. The EPclin stratified 64% of patients at risk after 5 years into a low-risk subgroup with an absolute 1.8% of late DM at 10 years of follow-up.Conclusion:The EP test provides additional prognostic information for the identification of early and late DM beyond what can be achieved by combining the commonly used clinical parameters. The EPclin reliably identified a subgroup of patients who have an excellent long-term prognosis after 5 years of endocrine therapy. The side effects of extended therapy should be weighed against this projected outcome.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 24 October 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.671
    British Journal of Cancer 10/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Physicians are often approached by young women with a BRCA mutation and a recent history of breast cancer who wish to have a baby. They wish to know if pregnancy impacts upon their future risks of cancer recurrence and survival. To date, there is little information on the survival experience of women who carry a mutation in one of the BRCA genes and who become pregnant. From an international multi-center cohort study of 12,084 women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, we identified 128 case subjects who were diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant or who became pregnant after a diagnosis of breast cancer. These women were age-matched to 269 mutation carriers with breast cancer who did not become pregnant (controls). Subjects were followed from the date of breast cancer diagnosis until the date of last follow-up or death from breast cancer. The Kaplan–Meier method was used to estimate 15-year survival rates. The hazard ratio for survival associated with pregnancy was calculated using a left-truncated Cox proportional hazard model, adjusting for other prognostic factors. Among women who were diagnosed with breast cancer when pregnant or who became pregnant thereafter, the 15-year survival rate was 91.5 %, compared to a survival of 88.6 % for women who did not become pregnant (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.76; 95 % CI 0.31–1.91; p = 0.56). Pregnancy concurrent with or after a diagnosis of breast cancer does not appear to adversely affect survival among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 10/2013; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ezrin is known to be involved in intercellular interactions, and a shift from membrane-bound to cytoplasmatic protein expression has been associated with malignant potential. This association has primarily been demonstrated in cell lines and, as yet, little is known about the distribution of ezrin in primary benign and malignant breast tissues. We have, therefore, set out to investigate ezrin protein expression in a series of primary breast lesions. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect ezrin expression in 465 samples of normal breast tissues, benign breast tumours, pre-invasive breast lesions, breast cancer tissues and metastatic lymph nodes, and the protein expression patterns observed were correlated with clinicopathological parameters. Ezrin was detected in the cytoplasm of both benign and malignant breast tissues, but its expression was significantly higher in the malignant tissues (13 % vs 60 %, p < 0.0001; χ (2) test). We also detected a statistically significant higher ezrin expression in pre-invasive lesions compared to benign lesions (15 % vs 44 %, p = 0.04; χ (2) test). We did not find such a difference in ezrin expression between pre-invasive and invasive cancer samples, nor between invasive cancer samples and lymph node metastases. Within the group of invasive cancer samples, we found a significant correlation between ezrin expression and CK14 (rs:0.38, p < 0.007) and Her2 (rs:0.25, p < 0.002) expression. No such correlation was observed between ezrin expression and nodal status, grading, patient's age, hormone receptor status, and Ki67 or p53 expression. Taken together, we found that cytoplasmatic ezrin expression increases from benign to malignant breast tumour development. We hypothesize that the tissue architectural alterations that are associated with aberrant ezrin expression may point at pathophysiological mechanisms that may be instrumental for the design of novel therapies.
    Cellular oncology (Dordrecht). 10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in brca1 and 2 genes lead to a significant increase in the lifetime risk of developing breast (BC) and ovarian cancer (OC). There are indications that birth cohort can influence the cancer risk in brca1 mutation carriers. Therefore, we investigated the risks for BC and OC associated with brca2 mutations in a cohort of female mutation carriers of a genetically heterogeneous Central European population. This study included 246 women in whom a functional mutation in the brca2 gene had been identified at our institution. At the time of analysis, 153 women had developed cancer (142 BC, 9 OC, 2 BC and OC). Risks were estimated using the product limit method. The log rank test was used to compare different strata. After correction for risk-reducing surgeries, the cumulative risk of developing cancer to age 70 was found to be 88% for BC (95% CI 81-95%) and 31% for OC (95% CI 17-45%). Female brca2 mutation carriers born in 1958 or later were at a significantly higher risk of developing BC at a younger age (p<0.001), while no such age cohort-dependent correlation was found for OC. The age cohort-dependent early onset in BC in women born after 1958 strongly suggests the importance of exogenous factors such as lifestyle modification while this does not seem to be the case for OC. Female brca2 mutation carriers should be counseled about their age cohort-dependent breast cancer risk.
    Maturitas 10/2013; · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This Phase I study evaluated the safety, tolerability and efficacy of olaparib, a potent oral PARP inhibitor, in combination with paclitaxel in patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC). Eligible patients who had received <=1 prior cytotoxic regimen for mTNBC were treated with olaparib 200 mg bid continuously plus weekly paclitaxel 90 mg/m2 for 3 weeks per 4-week cycle. Dose modifications in a large proportion of patients due to neutropenia resulted in enrollment of a second cohort of patients who, if they experienced grade >=2 neutropenia in cycle 1, received granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, which was continued prophylactically in subsequent cycles. All patients had measurable disease; tumor responses were evaluated according to RECIST (version 1.0). 19 patients (cohort 1, n = 9; cohort 2, n = 10) received treatment; 15 had received prior taxane chemotherapy. The most frequent adverse events were diarrhea (n = 12, 63%), nausea (n = 11, 58%) and neutropenia (n = 11, 58%). Seven neutropenia events were reported in cohort 1 (four grade >=3) and four in cohort 2 (two grade >=3, including one event of febrile neutropenia). The median (range) dose intensity of paclitaxel was 57% (26--100%) in cohort 1 and 73% (29--100%) in cohort 2. Seven patients (37%) had a confirmed partial response; one patient remains on olaparib monotherapy without progression. The combination of olaparib and weekly paclitaxel was complicated by a significant clinical interaction, with higher-than-expected rates of neutropenia despite secondary prophylaxis. Given the encouraging response rate, alternative scheduling and dosing strategies should be considered (funded by AstraZeneca;, NCT00707707).
    Breast cancer research: BCR 09/2013; 15(5):R88. · 5.87 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
993.04 Total Impact Points


  • 2002–2014
    • Medical University of Vienna
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      • • Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna
      • • Universitätsklinik für Innere Medizin I
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 2012–2013
    • Fudan University
      Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    • Women's College Research Institute
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Perelman School of Medicine
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
    • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
      • Division of Surgery V
      Athens, Attiki, Greece
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Treatment Research Institute, Philadelphia PA
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2010–2012
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      • Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States
    • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2009–2012
    • University of Cambridge
      • Department of Public Health and Primary Care
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
    • Pantarhei Bioscience
      Zeist, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2011
    • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 1999–2011
    • University of Vienna
      • Department of Gynecology
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 2009–2010
    • Queensland Institute of Medical Research
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 2008
    • Vienna General Hospital
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 2002–2008
    • Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Experimental and Clinical Traumatology
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 2000–2004
    • Ludwig Boltzmann-Cluster Oncology (LB-CO) | Medical University Vienna
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 1992–1997
    • Georgetown University
      • Lombardi Cancer Center
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States