Byrski T, Gronwald J, Huzarski T, et al. Response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in women with BRCA1-positive breast cancers
Department of Genetics and Pathology, International Hereditary Cancer Center, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
(Impact Factor: 3.94).
04/2008; 108(2):289-96. DOI: 10.1007/s10549-007-9600-1
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.
Available from: Lee Su Kim
- "Several studies have shown that breast cancers involving BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation are different from sporadic breast cancer cases. Several studies have demonstrated that BRCA1 mutation carriers often do not express the estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) (termed triple-negative breast cancer) [6,7,8,9]. In contrast, breast cancer cases with a BRCA2 mutation share similar pathologic features to sporadic cancers [9,10,11]. "
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Mutations in BRCA genes are the main cause of hereditary breast cancer in Korea. The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of breast cancers involving BRCA1 (BRCA1 group) and BRCA2 (BRCA2 group) mutations.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients with BRCA1 (BRCA1 group) or BRCA2 (BRCA2 group) mutation positive breast cancer from multiple centers and compared the data to that of the Korean Breast Cancer Society registry (registry group).
The patients of the BRCA1 group were diagnosed at a younger age (median age, 37 years) and had tumors of higher histological (61.3% with histological grade 3) and nuclear (37.5% with nuclear grade 3) grade than those of the registry group. In addition, the frequency of ductal carcinoma in situ in the BRCA1 group was lower (3.7%) than in the registry group, and the BRCA1 group were more likely to be triple-negative breast cancer (61.3%). Patients in the BRCA2 group were also younger at diagnosis (mean age, 41 years) and were more likely to have involvement of the axillary node than the registry group (45.5% vs. 33.5%, p=0.002). The BRCA1 and BRCA2 groups did not show a correlation between tumor size and axillary node involvement.
We report the characteristics of BRCA mutation positive breast cancer patients in the Korean population through multicenter data and nation-wide breast cancer registry study. However, BRCA-mutated breast cancers appear highly complex, and further research on their molecular basis is needed in Korea.
Available from: Richard D Kennedy
- "A further explanation may be that even low levels of BRCA1 are sufficient to mediate response to taxanes and perhaps reduced taxane response is confined to patients with complete BRCA1 dysfunction. In support of this, two small studies in hereditary breast cancer have reported resistance to neo-adjuvant taxane based chemotherapy in patients with germline BRCA1 mutations  . Another point to consider is the potential dose dependent effects that may occur when both platinums and taxanes are administered in combination. "
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ABSTRACT: We investigated the relationship between BRCA1 protein expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and clinical outcome following platinum and platinum/taxane chemotherapy in sporadic epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).
BRCA1 IHC was performed on a cohort of 292 ovarian tumours from two UK oncology centres. BRCA1 protein expression levels were correlated with overall survival (OS), progression free survival (PFS) and clinical response to chemotherapy by multivariate analysis.
EOC patients with absent/low BRCA1 protein expression (41%) had a better chance of clinical response following chemotherapy as compared to patients with high BRCA1 expression (odds ratio 2.47: 95%CI 1.10-5.55, p=0.029). Patients with absent/low BRCA1 had a higher probability of clinical response following single agent platinum compared to high BRCA1 expressing patients (68.5% vs. 46.8%), while addition of a taxane increased response rates independent of BRCA1. Overall, patients with absent/low BRCA1 had a better clinical outcome compared to patients with high BRCA1 protein expression in terms of both OS (HR=0.65: 95%CI 0.48-0.88, p=0.006) and PFS (HR=0.74, 95%CI 0.55-0.98, p=0.040).
We confirm that absent/low BRCA1 protein expression is a favourable prognostic marker. However, we also provide the first evidence that absent/low BRCA1 protein expression in sporadic EOC patients predicts for an improved clinical response to chemotherapy.
Available from: Hyun Jung Jun
- "Because of their wide use and proven efficacy, anthracyclines may be especially important for the treatment of TNBCs that are known to lack specific therapeutic targets. Doxorubicin shows pre-clinical and clinical activity against BRCA1-associated cancers, a closely related group of diseases with significant morphologic, phenotypic, and genetic overlap with TNBCs [29,30]. This further suggests the potential of anthracycline chemotherapy as a therapeutic option for TNBCs. "
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ABSTRACT: We analyzed the responses to first line treatment and clinical outcomes of metastatic breast cancer patients treated with palliative doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide (AC) according to molecular cancer subtype.
A retrospective analysis was performed for 110 metastatic breast cancer patients selected on the basis of palliative AC treatment and the availability of immunohistochemical data for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2/neu) status.
Of the 110 patients analyzed, 71 (64.5%) were hormone receptor positive (HR+), 14 (12.7%) were HER2+, and 25 (22.7%) were triple negative (TN). There were no differences in age, stage at diagnosis, total number of cycles of palliative chemotherapy, incidence of visceral metastasis, and metastatic sites with the exception of liver among breast cancer subtypes. The overall response rates to AC were 55.9% for the HR+ subgroup, 42.9% for the HER2+ subgroup, and 56.5% for the TN subgroup. The progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with HER2+ and TN were significantly shorter than in the HR+ (median PFS, 9.1 vs 8.1 vs 11.5 months, respectively; p = 0.0002). The overall survival (OS) was 25.4 months in the TN subgroup and 27.3 months in HER2+ subgroup. The median OS for these two groups was significantly shorter than for patients in the HR+ subgroup (median, 38.5 months; 95% CI, 30.1-46.9 months; p < 0.0001).
The response to palliative AC chemotherapy did not differ among breast cancer subtypes. Despite chemosensitivity for palliative AC, the TN subtype has a shorter overall survival than non-TN subtypes. Innovative treatment strategies should be developed to slow the course of disease.
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