Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

VHIO genomic study identifies subgroups of HER2+ breast cancer with varying sensitivities

17.01.2014
VHIO describes as many as 4 subgroups of HER2+ breast cancer (Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2-enriched and Basal-Like) with varying responses and benefits resulting from combined anti-HER2 targeted therapy and chemotherapy

Research led by the Translational Genomics Group at Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) in Barcelona has not only shown that HER2+ breast cancer can be classified into four different subtypes, but also unmasked a subtype showing both a greater response to and increased benefit from chemotherapy and anti-HER2 therapy. Such newly, refined classification of different tumor subtypes will ultimately facilitate more effective treatment tailored to a specific tumor as well as advance targeted therapy against HER2+ breast cancer.

The study led by Aleix Prat, Principal Investigator of VHIO´s Translational Genomics Group, in collaboration with José Baselga, Physician-in-Chief of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (USA), has today been published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. The research centers on the fact that not all HER2+ tumors respond in the same way to anti-HER2 targeted therapy. Although tumors disappear in many patients, others show no response or become resistant to anti-HER2 therapy in combination with chemotherapy. This observation led to this present retrospective study of patients treated in the phase III NOAH clinical trial, with the objective of establishing the genomic differences of both the treatment-sensitive and the treatment-resistant tumors.

Determining the molecular subtype of any breast cancer is fundamental. Until recently, breast cancer had been classified into three groups according to the presence or absence of hormone receptors and the HER2 receptor: hormone-sensitive, HER2+ and triple-negative (when not included in either of these first two groups). Over recent years however, largely thanks to the stunning advancements in genomic technologies, this classification has been finely-tuned and subsequently shown that there are at least four major breast cancer subtypes (Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2-enriched and Basal-Like). Last year, this very group of researchers refined the classification of hormone-sensitive tumors by genomics.

In this study, the group focuses on HER2+ disease. HER2+ breast cancer affects 20% of women with breast cancer and is characterized by the presence of a large number of HER2 receptors and increased proliferative activity of the respective tumor cells – all of which translates in a highly aggressive tumor and the consequent increased risk of relapse and cancer-related death. The development of HER2-targeted therapies, such as Trastuzumab or Lapatinib, has greatly improved the prospects and treatment options for patients suffering from this particular type of cancer. However, HER2+ breast cancer is still considered as a single subgroup and receives a similar kind of treatment overall, despite the fact that not all HER2+ breast cancer patients respond equally to such therapy.

This new study evaluated the response of the different molecular subtypes upon treatment with anti-HER2 therapy. The study reveals that the four genomic subtypes in breast cancer (Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2-enriched and Basal-like) are also found in HER2+ breast cancer, and they affect treatment response. "Specifically, we have found that HER2+ tumors in the HER2-enriched subtype have a highly activated HER2 signaling pathway, thereby making them especially sensitive to anti-HER2 targeted therapies such as Trastuzumab. Therefore, among the four defined subtypes, HER2-enriched benefits most from specific anti-HER2 therapy" explains Aleix Prat.

Establishing the genomic and clinical particularities between each of the subtypes may firstly drive more individually tailored treatment strategies, leading in turn to more robust treatment for those who stand to benefit from it. Second, more effectively targeted treatments may also be facilitated for those patients who may benefit from this strategy and thus ultimately receive a more personalized, precise therapy, resulting in better and longer survival. The PAMELA study led by Prat through the support of a Susan G. Komen Foundation grant, involving various Spanish sites coordinated by the SOLTI cooperative research group, will aim to address the latter. The PAMELA study's primary objective is to identify those patients with HER2-positive tumors who can be cured with anti-HER2 biological therapies without the need for chemotherapy.

Cancer genomics: research translated to the clinic

"There is no doubt that gene expression in breast cancer provides us with essential biological information to better determine the diagnosis, treatment, relapse risk and possibilities of survival" says Aleix Prat, "From this moment on, treatment strategies should be based on prior molecular characterization of the tumor, and we must therefore make every effort to ensure accuracy. Genomic tests provide such accuracy and are increasingly being used in daily practice. There really is no other option if we are to continue to combat cancer", he concludes.

This study was conducted with research from the PAM50 genomic test which, in contrast to the other available tests, allows us to better define the biological characterization of breast cancer. VHIO has already assessed this test in several studies and hopes that it will be available for clinical use in the coming months.

Amanda Wren | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vhio.net

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy, new study suggests
11.12.2018 | Columbia University Irving Medical Center

nachricht Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
30.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>