Toru Higuchi

Saitama Cancer Center, Saitama, Saitama, Japan

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Publications (4)6.07 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: 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. METHODS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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.
    BMC Cancer 05/2013; 13(1):241. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: It is still controversial whether axillary lymph node (ALN) dissection (ALND) can be omitted after negative sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy (SLNB) in breast cancer (BC) patients with clinically positive ALNs at presentation treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). The study aim was to analyze whether SLNB could be useful in these patients. METHODS: In a retrospective study, eligible patients were women with invasive BC with clinically positive ALNs at presentation, treated with NAC then a total or partial mastectomy, with an intraoperative histological examination of SLNs and non-SLNs suspicious for metastasis followed by ALND. Non-SLNs suspicious for metastasis were defined as hard or large nodes located in the same level of the axilla where clinically positive ALNs had been initially identified. The results of SLNB and clinicopathological characteristics were analyzed for correlation with pathological ALN status. RESULTS: In a consecutive series of 105 women with 107 BC cases, 81 (75.7 %) had at least 1 SLN, and the remaining 26 (24.3 %) had at least 1 non-SLN suspicious for metastasis. The intraoperative (or final) histological examination of these nodes revealed that the false-negative (FN) rate and accuracy were 8.2 (or 6.3) % and 95.1 (or 96.3) %, respectively. Estrogen receptor status at presentation, pathological tumor response, lymphovascular invasion after NAC, and NAC regimen were correlated with pathological ALN status. CONCLUSION: The histological examination of SLNs and that of non-SLNs suspicious for metastasis are useful for predicting pathological ALN status in BC patients with clinically positive ALNs at presentation who are treated with NAC.
    International Journal of Clinical Oncology 05/2012; · 1.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemotherapeutic agents, especially paclitaxel, and endocrinotherapeutic agents such as aromatase inhibitors and antiestrogen, can induce seriously painful symptoms in breast cancer patients during adjuvant treatment before and after surgery. We report five clinical cases in which oxycodone was effective against pain induced by anti-cancer agents during adjuvant treatment. Paclitaxel was used as the anti-cancer agent in each of the five patients. Aromatase inhibitors and anti-estrogen were administered to one and three patients, respectively. The daily dose of controlled-release oxycodone ranged from 10 mg to 270 mg, but none of the patients dropped out due to adverse events caused by oxycodone. Pain intensity measured by NRS decreased to less than 3 out of 10, compared to the baseline in every patient except for one. Oxycodone may be effective against anti-cancer agent-induced pain. In addition, appropriate assessment and management of pain may be crucial for breast cancer patients during adjuvant treatment.
    Gan to kagaku ryoho. Cancer & chemotherapy 07/2011; 38(7):1137-42.
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    ABSTRACT: Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) were more effective than tamoxifen as a neoadjuvant endocrine therapy (NAE) for postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. Neoadjuvant AIs were shown to reduce tumor volume and to allow the performance of breast-conserving surgery (BCS) in cases that would normally require mastectomy. Predictive markers of neoadjuvant AIs may be ER-rich, progesterone receptor (PgR)-rich and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative tumors. However, the ability of HER2 expression to predict a response to neoadjuvant AIs is controversial. Pathological tumor size, nodal status, Ki67 level, and ER score are predictive for the survival of postmenopausal women with breast cancer who have been treated with NAE. These factors could be useful in order to select patients who do not require chemotherapy. Indeed, neoadjuvant AIs are a potential treatment option for postmenopausal women with ER-rich breast cancer who prefer BCS despite having large tumors suitable for mastectomy.
    Breast Cancer 11/2010; 18(2):85-91. · 1.33 Impact Factor