Genes that predict effectiveness of trastuzumab in breast cancer patients are identified

Share this article:

A team of US researchers have identified 25 genes that are significantly associated with a good outcome with concurrent use of trastuzumab and chemotherapy, as well as five other genes linked to a poor outcome using the same treatment regimen.

Adding the drug trastuzumab to chemotherapy prevents cancer recurrence and improves survival in a large number of women with early stage HER2-positive breast cancer. However, trastuzumab does not stop tumors from returning in about 25% of patients, and oncologists have been unable to identify these women before treatment.

Results of this study offer a number of future potential benefits, according to Edith Perez, MD of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center. This study is believed to be the first to use gene expression profiling to predict outcome to trastuzumab as part of adjuvant breast cancer therapy.

“These findings also are getting us closer to unraveling the biological factors that are relevant to patient outcome, which will help us improve clinical care,” said Perez. For example, the discovery may help scientists devise a genetic test that can help oncologists select the best treatment for their HER2-positive patients.

Further analysis will illuminate the inner biological workings of individual HER2-positive tumors, which could provide clues for novel treatments, Perez added. The researchers have already found that the genes linked to outcome can be grouped into different categories that affect tumor functioning, such as cell cycle, cell death, cell receptor signaling, and gene transcription.

Perez and her team plan to validate their findings through collaborations with researchers in the United States and Europe who have led other trastuzumab clinical studies.

“We are on our way to developing a predictive test that can define the right treatment for individual patients, and that is very exciting,” she said.

This study was presented at the 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held December 4-8, 2012.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Web Exclusives

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

April Contest: Win a Pebble Watch

Start the contest today

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs

More in Web Exclusives

Hope for preserving fertility in young boys with cancer

Scientists have moved a step closer to being able to preserve fertility in young boys who undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer.

Certain genetic variants increase recurrence risk for bladder cancer

Inheriting certain DNA sequences can affect the prognosis of bladder cancer patients, according to a new study.

Adult cancer drug offers hope against aggressive pediatric brain tumor

The quest to improve survival of children with a high-risk brain tumor has led investigators to two drugs already used to treat adults with breast, pancreatic, lung, and other cancers.