JOURNAL ARTICLE

Association between HER2, TOP2A, and response to anthracycline-based preoperative chemotherapy in high-risk primary breast cancer

Gottfried E Konecny, Giovanni Pauletti, Michael Untch, He-Jing Wang, Volker Möbus, Walther Kuhn, Christoph Thomssen, Nadia Harbeck, Ling Wang, Sophia Apple, Fritz Jänicke, Dennis J Slamon
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2010, 120 (2): 481-9
20130985
In breast cancer, recent studies suggest that the value of HER2 for predicting response to anthracycline-based chemotherapy may be more likely related to the concomitant amplification of the TOP2A gene. Here, we study the association between HER2 or TOP2A status and response to anthracycline-based preoperative chemotherapy and explore the interaction between HER2 or TOP2A status and intense dose-dense (IDD) chemotherapy. HER2 and TOP2A gene alterations were quantified by fluorescence in situ hybridization in primary tumor core biopsies from 373 high-risk primary breast cancer patients (tumors >/=3 cm or inflammatory) that received an IDD or conventionally scheduled anthracycline-based preoperative chemotherapy. HER2 was amplified in 94/350 tumors (27%) of which 40/94 (46%) demonstrated TOP2A amplification, and 17/94 (18%) TOP2A deletions. TOP2A gene alterations were not found in HER2 non-amplified cases. HER2 amplification was associated with a significantly higher pathologic complete response (pCR) rate only when TOP2A was co-amplified (30% vs. 11%, P = 0.002), but not when deleted (13% vs. 11%, P = 0.755), or normal (14% vs. 11%, P = 0.578) compared to HER2 non-amplified tumors. In multivariate analysis, TOP2A amplification (odds ratio [OR] 3.04, P = 0.021), but not HER2 amplification (OR 1.74, P = 0.170) was associated with a significantly higher pCR rate. No interaction was observed between HER2 or TOP2A status and IDD chemotherapy. TOP2A gene amplification may define a subset of HER2-amplified breast cancers that are responsible for the markedly improved chemosensitivity seen in HER2-positive breast cancer. However, added benefit of IDD chemotherapy itself was not associated with HER2 or TOP2A status.

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