TIMP-1 in combination with HER2 and TOP2A for prediction of benefit from adjuvant anthracyclines in high-risk breast cancer patients
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HER2 amplification, TOP2A aberrations, and absence of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP-1) expression in breast carcinomas have been shown to be associated with incremental benefit from anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy, and this study was undertaken to validate these findings in a similar, but independent, randomized clinical trial. TIMP-1 was examined by immunohistochemistry in archival tumor tissue from 403 of 716 premenopausal high-risk patients with known HER2 and TOP2A status who were randomized to cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, and fluorouracil (CEF) or cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil (CMF) in the MA.5 trial. Ninety-eight (24%) patients had no TIMP-1 staining of tumor cells, 27% were HER2 amplified, and 18% were TOP2A aberrant. Forty-four percentage was classified as HT responsive (HER2 amplified and/or TIMP-1 negative) and 37% as 2T responsive (TOP2A aberrant and/or TIMP-1 negative). There was no heterogeneity in treatment effect of CEF versus CMF according to TIMP-1. In HT-responsive patients, CEF was superior to CMF with an improved RFS (adjusted HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.42-0.97), but this was not significant for OS (adjusted HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.42-1.04). A significant HT profile versus treatment interaction was detected for OS (P = 0.03). In 2T-responsive patients, CEF seemed to improve RFS compared to CMF (adjusted HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.43-1.03) and improved OS (adjusted HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.36-0.93). A significant 2T profile versus treatment interaction was detected for OS (P = 0.01). With this study, we validate a more substantial reduction in mortality by CEF compared to CMF in patients with an HT- or 2T-responsive profile; however, we could not show a similarly significant reduction in RFS events, where a benefit of CEF over CMF was found irrespective of TIMP-1 status. Further studies are necessary before the HT and 2T profiles may be used to direct the use of anthracyclines.
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