, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 103-109
Date: 06 Aug 2009

Predictive factors for anthracycline-based chemotherapy for human breast cancer

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Abstract

Predictive factors for anthracycline-based chemotherapy have yet to be incorporated into daily practice. Meta-analyses of studies using anthracycline-based treatment regimens have shown an improved prognosis for human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)-positive tumors, but not for HER2-negative tumors compared with results of non-anthracycline regimens. Currently it is believed that the positive association between HER2 status and anthracycline sensitivity is indirect, that is, their association may be mediated through topoisomerase II alpha (TOP2A), a target molecule of anthracyclines, since TOP2A is near HER-2 and co-amplification of the TOP2A gene frequently occurs in HER2-amplified tumors. This strongly suggests that TOP2A gene amplification is a predictive factor for anthracyline-based regimens. The Collaborative Study Group of Scientific Research of the Japanese Breast Cancer Society has demonstrated that TOP2A-positive and BRCA1-negative subsets evaluated by immunohistochemical staining show a significantly higher pathological complete response when treated with preoperative epirubicin-containing regimens. Combining these findings with the observation that triple-negative tumors and basal-like tumors respond to anthracycline treatment suggests that not only HER2-positive tumors but also a distinct subset of HER2-negative tumors may be sensitive to anthracycline-based regimens.

From the Collaborative Study Group of Scientific Research of the Japanese Breast Cancer Society.