Publications by authors named "Andreas Schneeweiss"

350 Publications

Patterns and Predictors of First-Line Taxane Use in Patients with Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in US Clinical Practice.

Curr Oncol 2021 Jul 17;28(4):2741-2752. Epub 2021 Jul 17.

National Center for Tumor Disease, Heidelberg University Hospital and German Cancer Research, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

We investigated first-line (1L) treatment patterns and predictors of taxane use to better understand the evolving metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC) treatment landscape. This retrospective analysis of the Truven Health MarketScan® (Somers, NY, USA) Database included women with mTNBC who received 1L therapy within six months of diagnosis (January 2005-June 2015). Multivariate logistic regression models identified predictors of taxane use, adjusting for prognostic factors. A total of 2,271 women with newly diagnosed mTNBC received 1L treatment during the study period. Half received a 1L taxane (53%), more often in combination than as monotherapy (58% versus 42%), though this varied by specific taxane. -Paclitaxel monotherapy increased substantially after 2010. More recent treatment year (odds ratio, 2.16 (95% CI 1.69-2.76]) and number of metastases (≥3 versus 1: 1.73 (1.25-2.40)) predicted taxane monotherapy versus combination. Having a health maintenance organization versus a preferred provider organization plan predicted less -paclitaxel versus paclitaxel (0.32 (0.13-0.80)) or docetaxel (0.30 (0.10-0.89)) use. More recent index year (2011-2015 vs 2005-2010) was the only predictor favoring -paclitaxel versus paclitaxel (2.01 (1.26-3.21)) or docetaxel (3.63 (2.11-6.26)). Taxane-containing regimens remained the most common 1L mTNBC treatments. Paclitaxel and -paclitaxel use changed substantially over time, with -paclitaxel use associated with insurance coverage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8293053PMC
July 2021

Clinical and molecular characteristics of HER2-low-positive breast cancer: pooled analysis of individual patient data from four prospective, neoadjuvant clinical trials.

Lancet Oncol 2021 Jul 9. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

German Breast Group, Neu-Isenburg, Germany.

Background: The development of anti-HER2 antibody-drug conjugates opens new therapeutic options for patients with breast cancer, including patients with low expression of HER2. To characterise this new breast cancer subtype, we have compared the clinical and molecular characteristics of HER2-low-positive and HER2-zero breast cancer, including response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and prognosis.

Methods: In this pooled analysis of individual patient data, we evaluated a cohort of 2310 patients with HER2-non-amplified primary breast cancer that were treated with neoadjuvant combination chemotherapy in four prospective neoadjuvant clinical trials (GeparSepto, NCT01583426; GeparOcto, NCT02125344; GeparX, NCT02682693; Gain-2 neoadjuvant, NCT01690702) between July 30, 2012, and March 20, 2019. Central HER2 testing was done prospectively before random assignment of participants in all trials. HER2-low-positive status was defined as immunohistochemistry (IHC) 1+ or IHC2+/in-situ hybridisation negative and HER2-zero was defined as IHC0, based on the American Society of Clinical Oncology/College of American Pathologists guidelines. Disease-free survival and overall survival data were available for 1694 patients (from all trials except GeparX) with a median follow-up of 46·6 months (IQR 35·0-52·3). Bivariable and multivariable logistic regression models and Cox-proportional hazards models were performed based on a predefined statistical analysis plan for analysis of the endpoints pathological complete response, disease-free survival, and overall survival.

Findings: A total of 1098 (47·5%) of 2310 tumours were HER2-low-positive and 1212 (52·5%) were HER2-zero. 703 (64·0%) of 1098 patients with HER2-low-positive tumours were hormone receptor positive, compared with 445 (36·7%) of 1212 patients with HER2-zero tumours (p<0.0001). HER2-low-positive tumours had a significantly lower pathological complete response rate than HER2-zero tumours (321 [29·2%] of 1098 vs 473 [39·0%] of 1212, p=0·0002). Pathological complete response was also significantly lower in HER2-low-positive tumours versus HER2-zero tumours in the hormone receptor-positive subgroup (123 [17·5%] of 703 vs 105 [23·6%] of 445, p=0·024), but not in the hormone receptor-negative subgroup (198 [50·1%] of 395 vs 368 [48·0%] of 767, p=0·21). Patients with HER2-low-positive tumours had significantly longer survival than did patients with HER2-zero tumours (3-year disease-free survival: 83·4% [95% CI 80·5-85·9] vs 76·1% [72·9-79·0]; stratified log-rank test p=0·0084; 3-year overall survival: 91·6% [84·9-93·4] vs 85·8% [83·0-88·1]; stratified log-rank test p=0·0016). Survival differences were also seen in patients with hormone receptor-negative tumours (3-year disease-free survival: 84·5% [95% CI 79·5-88·3] vs 74·4% [70·2-78.0]; stratified log-rank test p=0·0076; 3-year overall survival: 90·2% [86·0-93·2] vs 84·3% [80·7-87·3], stratified log-rank test p=0·016), but not in patients with hormone receptor-positive tumours (3-year disease-free survival 82·8% [79·1-85·9] vs 79·3% [73·9-83·7]; stratified log-rank test p=0·39; 3-year overall survival 92·3% [89·6-94·4] vs 88·4% [83·8-91·8]; stratified log-rank test p=0·13).

Interpretation: Our results show that HER2-low-positive tumours can be identified as new subgroup of breast cancer by standardised IHC, distinct from HER2-zero tumours. HER2-low-positive tumours have a specific biology and show differences in response to therapy and prognosis, which is particularly relevant in therapy-resistant, hormone receptor-negative tumours. Our results provide a basis for a better understanding of the biology of breast cancer subtypes and the refinement of future diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

Funding: German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00301-6DOI Listing
July 2021

Preventive effect of sensorimotor exercise and resistance training on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: a randomised-controlled trial.

Br J Cancer 2021 Jul 5. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Working Group Exercise Oncology, Division of Medical Oncology, National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) and Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common, unpleasant and usually long-lasting side effect of neurotoxic chemotherapeutic agents. This study aimed to investigate the preventive potential of sensorimotor- (SMT) and resistance training (RT) on CIPN.

Methods: Patients (N = 170) were randomised to SMT, RT or usual care (UC). Both exercise groups trained 3×/week for a total of 105 min/week during neurotoxic chemotherapy (mean length: 20 weeks). Before and 3 weeks after neurotoxic chemotherapy, CIPN signs/symptoms were assessed via Total Neuropathy Score (TNSr; primary endpoint) and EORTC QLQ-CIPN15 questionnaire. In addition, balance (centre of pressure), muscle strength (isokinetic), quality of life (QoL, EORTC QLQ-C30) and relative chemotherapy dose intensity (RDI) were investigated. The follow-up period covered 6 months after the end of chemotherapy.

Results: Intention-to-treat analyses (N = 159) revealed no differences regarding CIPN signs/symptoms. Exploratory per-protocol analyses (minimum training attendance rate 67%; N = 89) indicated that subjectively perceived sensory symptoms in the feet increased less during chemotherapy in the adherent exercisers (pooled group: SMT+RT) than in the UC group (-8.3 points (-16.1 to -0.4); P = 0.039, ES = 1.27). Furthermore, adherent exercisers received a higher RDI (96.6 ± 4.8 vs. 92.2 ± 9.4; P = 0.045), showed a better course of muscular strength (+20.8 Nm (11.2-30.4); P < 0.001, ES = 0.57) and QoL (+12.9 points (3.9-21.8); P = 0.005, ES = 0.64). During follow-up, CIPN signs/symptoms persisted in all groups.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that SMT and/or RT alleviate subjectively perceived sensory CIPN symptoms in the feet and other clinically relevant cancer therapy-related outcomes, if an appropriate training stimulus is achieved.

Clinical Trial Registration: NCT02871284.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01471-1DOI Listing
July 2021

Utility of the CPS + EG scoring system in triple-negative breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Aug 26;153:203-212. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

HELIOS Clinic Berlin Buch, Germany.

Background: Pathological complete response (pCR) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) is associated with superior survival. This association is strongest in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). The CPS + EG system, based on pre-treatment clinical (CS) and post-treatment pathological stage (PS), oestrogen-receptor status (E) and grade (G), leads to a refined estimate of prognosis after NACT in all-comers and hormone receptor-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer. Here, we investigate if CPS + EG scoring provides a superior estimate of prognosis in TNBC to select patients for postneoadjuvant therapy.

Methods: We calculated the CPS + EG score for 1795 patients with TNBC from 8 prospective German trials. Five-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival estimates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: In TNBC, patients with pCR (ypT0/is ypN0, n = 822, 45.8%) had a 5-year DFS of 86%, whereas patients with residual American Joint Committee on Cancer stage I disease (n = 383; 21.3%) had a 5-year DFS of 77.5%.CPS + EG led to superior prognostic information compared with that provided by the clinical stage, but it was inferior to the prognostic information provided by the pathological stage (c-index statistics, p < 0.001). CPS + EG did not discriminate prognosis within the two best prognostic groups (score 1 and 2; n = 362; 37.2%). In contrast, pCR status added prognostic information beyond CPS + EG. Patients with a CPS + EG score of 3 had a 5-year DFS rate of 64% overall, but those with pCR had a 5-year DFS rate of 84%, and those without pCR had a 5-year DFS rate of only 49.7%.

Conclusions: In TNBC, CPS + EG scoring provided inferior prognostic information compared with the pathological stage and was unable to identify patients without pCR and with a sufficiently good prognosis, who could avoid postneoadjuvant therapy. pCR remains the strongest and most clinically useful prognostic factor after NACT. Other biologic factors beyond pCR are needed in TNBC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.05.027DOI Listing
August 2021

Treatment of Patients with Early Breast Cancer: Evidence, Controversies, Consensus: German Expert Opinions on the 17th International St. Gallen Consensus Conference.

Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd 2021 Jun 19;81(6):637-653. Epub 2021 May 19.

Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für Gynäkologie, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany.

This year's 17th St. Gallen (SG) Consensus Conference on the Treatment of Patients with Early Breast Cancer (SG-BCC) with the title "Customizing local and systemic therapies for women with early breast cancer" focused on the challenge of targeting the treatment of early breast cancer more specifically to the individual disease situation of each patient. As in previous years, a German working group of leading breast cancer experts discussed the results of the international SG-BCC 2021 in the context of the German guideline. It is helpful to compare the SG recommendations with the recently updated treatment recommendations of the Breast Commission of the German Working Group on Gynaecological Oncology (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gynäkologische Onkologie e. V., AGO) and the S3 guideline because the SG-BCC panel comprised experts from different countries, which is why country-specific aspects can be incorporated into the SG recommendations. The German treatment recommendations of the AGO and the S3 guideline are based on current evidence. Nevertheless, any therapeutic decision must always undergo a risk-benefit analysis for the specific situation and to be discussed with the patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1483-2782DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8216767PMC
June 2021

Prognosis of Patients With Early Breast Cancer Receiving 5 Years vs 2 Years of Adjuvant Bisphosphonate Treatment: A Phase 3 Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Jun 24. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Importance: Bisphosphonate treatment in patients with early breast cancer has become part of care, but the optimal treatment duration is still unclear.

Objective: To compare 2 vs 5 years of zoledronate treatment following adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with early breast cancer.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The SUCCESS A phase 3 multicenter randomized open-label clinical trial with a 2 × 2 factorial design enrolled 3754 patients from September 21, 2005, to March 12, 2007 (last patient out, May 7, 2014). Final data analysis was conducted from September 2019 to October 2020. In 250 German study centers, patients were eligible for participation in the SUCCESS A trial if they had either node-positive or high-risk node-negative (defined as at least 1 of the following: tumor size ≥ pT2, histologic grade 3, negative hormone receptor status, or age ≤35 years) primary invasive breast cancer.

Interventions: Patients were first randomized to adjuvant chemotherapy with 3 cycles of fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide followed by 3 cycles of docetaxel with or without gemcitabine (not presented in this report). After chemotherapy, patients underwent a second randomization of 5 years of zoledronate treatment (4 mg intravenously every 3 months for 2 years, followed by 4 mg intravenously every 6 months for 3 years) vs 2 years of zoledronate treatment (4 mg intravenously every 3 months for 2 years).

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point of the study was disease-free survival; secondary end points were overall survival, distant disease-free survival, and the incidence of skeletal-related adverse events. Survival times were measured from 2 years after the start of zoledronate treatment (landmark analysis).

Results: Overall, data on 2987 patients were available for analysis; median age was 53 (range, 21-86) years. Disease-free survival, overall survival, and distant disease-free survival did not differ significantly between the 2 treatment arms (5 vs 2 years) as shown by adjusted multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models (disease-free survival: hazard ratio [HR], 0.97; 95% CI, 0.75-1.25; P = .81; overall survival: HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.67-1.42; P = .90; distant disease-free survival: HR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.65-1.18; P = .38). Adverse events were observed more often in the 5-year (46.2%) vs 2-year (27.2%) zoledronate treatment arm, which was particularly true for the skeletal-related events bone pain (5 years, 8.3% vs 2 years, 3.7%) and arthralgia (5 years, 5.1% vs 2 years, 3.1%).

Conclusions And Relevance: The results of this phase 3 randomized clinical trial indicate that extending the zoledronate treatment beyond 2 years does not improve the prognosis of high-risk patients with early breast cancer receiving chemotherapy, suggesting that the currently recommended bisphosphonate treatment duration of 3 to 5 years could be reduced.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02181101.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.1854DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8227465PMC
June 2021

Functional annotation of the 2q35 breast cancer risk locus implicates a structural variant in influencing activity of a long-range enhancer element.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 Jul 18;108(7):1190-1203. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Genomic Epidemiology Group, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg 69120, Germany.

A combination of genetic and functional approaches has identified three independent breast cancer risk loci at 2q35. A recent fine-scale mapping analysis to refine these associations resulted in 1 (signal 1), 5 (signal 2), and 42 (signal 3) credible causal variants at these loci. We used publicly available in silico DNase I and ChIP-seq data with in vitro reporter gene and CRISPR assays to annotate signals 2 and 3. We identified putative regulatory elements that enhanced cell-type-specific transcription from the IGFBP5 promoter at both signals (30- to 40-fold increased expression by the putative regulatory element at signal 2, 2- to 3-fold by the putative regulatory element at signal 3). We further identified one of the five credible causal variants at signal 2, a 1.4 kb deletion (esv3594306), as the likely causal variant; the deletion allele of this variant was associated with an average additional increase in IGFBP5 expression of 1.3-fold (MCF-7) and 2.2-fold (T-47D). We propose a model in which the deletion allele of esv3594306 juxtaposes two transcription factor binding regions (annotated by estrogen receptor alpha ChIP-seq peaks) to generate a single extended regulatory element. This regulatory element increases cell-type-specific expression of the tumor suppressor gene IGFBP5 and, thereby, reduces risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (odds ratio = 0.77, 95% CI 0.74-0.81, p = 3.1 × 10).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.05.013DOI Listing
July 2021

Risk-based decision-making in the treatment of HER2-positive early breast cancer: Recommendations based on the current state of knowledge.

Cancer Treat Rev 2021 May 20;99:102229. Epub 2021 May 20.

Institut Jules Bordet, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium.

Treatment of HER2-positive early breast cancer (EBC) continues to evolve with neoadjuvant (pre-operative) and adjuvant (post-operative) HER2-targeted therapies as standard of care. There are two important decision points. The first involves deciding between neoadjuvant therapy or proceeding directly to surgery. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) plus pertuzumab-trastuzumab is appropriate for patients with high-risk HER2-positive EBC (tumour diameter ≥2 cm, and/or node-positive disease). Patients with node-negative disease and tumour diameter <2 cm are candidates for upfront surgery followed by paclitaxel for 12 weeks plus 18 cycles of trastuzumab, with the option to add pertuzumab (if pN+). The second decision point involves the pathohistological result at surgery after neoadjuvant therapy. Total pathological complete response (tpCR: ypT0/is, ypN0) is associated with improved survival endpoints. Patients with tumours ≥2 cm and/or node-positive disease at diagnosis who have a tpCR after dual blockade should continue pertuzumab-trastuzumab in the adjuvant setting to complete 1 year (18cycles) of treatment. For patients with invasive residual disease, 14cycles of post-neoadjuvant trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) therapy significantly increases invasive-DFS compared with trastuzumab. Extended adjuvant therapy with neratinib is an option in selected patients (HER2-positive and oestrogen receptor [ER]-positive) who have completed adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy. Less aggressive chemotherapy regimens are recommended in populations with a lower risk of recurrence (patients with small tumours without axillary involvement; patients unlikely to tolerate anthracycline-taxane or taxane-carboplatin regimens). Ultimately, treatment recommendations should be consistent with local and international guidelines. Further studies will guide optimisation of treatment for patients with HER2-positive EBC according to the risk of disease recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2021.102229DOI Listing
May 2021

Chemotherapy-induced ovarian failure in young women with early breast cancer: Prospective analysis of four randomised neoadjuvant/adjuvant breast cancer trials.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Jul 8;152:193-203. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

German Breast Group, Neu-Isenburg, Germany.

Background: Young women receiving chemotherapy for early breast cancer (EBC) have a high probability for ovarian failure, defined by chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea (CIA) as a surrogate. CIA is insufficiently reliable and reproducible. We analysed chemotherapy-induced ovarian failure (CIOF) by assessing hormone parameters, CIA, and antral follicle count (AFC).

Methods: Blood samples of women aged ≤45 years treated with anthracycline/taxane-based chemotherapy for EBC from four neoadjuvant/adjuvant trials were collected at baseline, at the end of treatment (EOT), and at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after EOT. Centrally assessed oestradiol (cutoff <52.2 ng/L) and follicle-stimulating hormone (cutoff >12.4IU/L) were used to define CIOF for patients with baseline premenopausal hormone levels, anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), and AFC to assess ovarian reserve. Further analyses included CIA, regain of premenopausal hormone levels, and disease-free survival (DFS) also in subgroups.

Results: Six hundred ninety-six patients aged ≤45 years had premenopausal hormone levels at baseline. Overall, 85.1% (592/696) experienced CIOF at EOT, and 147 of 592 had further hormone measurements after EOT. Of those, 32.7% (48/147) regained premenopausal hormone levels after 6 months, 57.9% (66/114) regained premenopausal hormone levels after 12 months, 83.0% (73/88) regained premenopausal hormone levels after 18 months, and 89.2% (74/83) regained premenopausal hormone levels after 24 months. After 24 months, 72.4% (21/29) of patients without CIOF and 100% (14/14) with CIOF had low AMH levels. Four-year DFS without CIOF versus CIOF was 65.9% versus 84.6% (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.09, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.37-3.19; P < 0.001); in hormone receptor positive 61.8% versus 87.5% (HR = 2.69, 95% CI: 1.57-4.60; P < 0.001); in <30 years 68.3% versus 92.6% (HR = 4.87, 95% CI: 1.05-22.63; P = 0.026).

Conclusion: Most premenopausal women experienced CIOF after chemotherapy for EBC. After 2 years, nearly all regain premenopausal hormone levels. CIOF was associated with better DFS, especially in patients with hormone receptor-positive EBC or aged <30 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.04.038DOI Listing
July 2021

PD-L1 Immunohistochemistry Assay Comparison in Atezolizumab plus nab-Paclitaxel-Treated Advanced Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jun 7. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburgh, PA.

Background: In the Phase III IMpassion130 study, atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel (A+nP) showed clinical benefit in advanced/metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients who were programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) + (tumor-infiltrating immune cells [IC] ≥1%) using the SP142 immunohistochemistry (IHC) assay. Here we evaluate 2 other PD-L1 assays for analytical concordance with SP142 and patient-associated clinical outcomes.

Methods: Samples from 614 patients (68.1% of intention-to-treat population) were centrally evaluated by IHC for PD-L1 status on IC (VENTANA SP142, SP263, Dako 22C3) or as a combined positive score (CPS; 22C3).

Results: Using SP142, SP263, and 22C3 assays, PD-L1 IC ≥ 1% prevalence was 46.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 42.5-50.4%), 74.9% (95% CI = 71.5-78.3%), and 73.1% (95% CI = 69.6-76.6%), respectively; 80.9% were 22C3 at CPS ≥1. At IC ≥ 1% (+), the analytical concordance between SP142 and SP263 and 22C3 was 69.2% and 68.7%, respectively. Almost all SP142+ cases were captured by other assays (double positive), but several SP263 + (29.6%) or 22C3 + (29.0%) cases were SP142- (single positive). A+nP clinical activity vs placebo+nP in SP263+ and 22C3+ patients (progression-free survival [PFS] hazard ratios [HRs] = 0.64-0.68; overall survival [OS] HRs = 0.75-0.79) was driven by double-positive (PFS HRs = 0.60-0.61; OS HRs = 0.71-0.75) rather than single-positive cases (PFS HRs = 0.68-0.81; OS HRs = 0.87-0.95). Concordance for harmonized cutoffs for SP263 (IC ≥ 4%) and 22C3 (CPS ≥10) to SP142 IC ≥ 1% was subpar (approximately 75%).

Conclusions: 22C3 and SP263 assays identified more patients as PD-L1 + (IC ≥ 1%) than SP142. No inter-assay analytical equivalency was observed. Consistent improved A+nP efficacy was captured by the SP142 PD-L1 IC ≥ 1% subgroup nested within 22C3 and SP263 PD-L1 + (IC ≥ 1%) populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab108DOI Listing
June 2021

CATCH: A Prospective Precision Oncology Trial in Metastatic Breast Cancer.

JCO Precis Oncol 2021 22;5. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Division of Molecular Genetics, German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Purpose: CATCH (Comprehensive Assessment of clinical feaTures and biomarkers to identify patients with advanced or metastatic breast Cancer for marker driven trials in Humans) is a prospective precision oncology program that uses genomics and transcriptomics to guide therapeutic decisions in the clinical management of metastatic breast cancer. Herein, we report our single-center experience and results on the basis of the first 200 enrolled patients of an ongoing trial.

Methods: From June 2017 to March 2019, 200 patients who had either primary metastatic or progressive disease, with any number of previous treatment lines and at least one metastatic site accessible to biopsy, were enrolled. DNA and RNA from tumor tissue and corresponding blood-derived nontumor DNA were profiled using whole-genome and transcriptome sequencing. Identified actionable alterations were brought into clinical context in a multidisciplinary molecular tumor board (MTB) with the aim of prioritizing personalized treatment recommendations.

Results: Among the first 200 enrolled patients, 128 (64%) were discussed in the MTB, of which 64 (50%) were subsequently treated according to MTB recommendation. Of 53 evaluable patients, 21 (40%) achieved either stable disease (n = 13, 25%) or partial response (n = 8, 15%). Furthermore, 16 (30%) of those patients showed improvement in progression-free survival of at least 30% while on MTB-recommended treatment compared with the progression-free survival of the previous treatment line.

Conclusion: The initial phase of this study demonstrates that precision oncology on the basis of whole-genome and RNA sequencing is feasible when applied in the clinical management of patients with metastatic breast cancer and provides clinical benefit to a substantial proportion of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/PO.20.00248DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140780PMC
April 2021

Update Breast Cancer 2021 Part 2 - Advanced Stages, Long-Term Consequences and Biomarkers.

Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd 2021 May 3;81(5):539-548. Epub 2021 May 3.

Klinik und Poliklinik für Gynäkologie, Universitätsklinikum Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

This review summarises and discusses significant aspects of recently published studies on patient treatment in advanced breast cancer and on biomarkers in breast cancer. In recent years, a large number of drugs for all molecular subtypes have been developed up to phase III trials. With regard to immune checkpoint inhibitors in metastasised breast cancer, the recent discussion has centred on the best candidate for combined chemotherapy. The oral taxanes could become a new type of oral chemotherapies. There is a growing body of data on biomarkers for the use of CDK4/6 inhibitors, which could also signify further development for other molecular subtypes. New substances have been developed for metastatic HER2+ breast cancer that still result in good remission even after massive prior treatment and/or cerebral metastasis. Similarly, knowledge is growing about targeted therapies with antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) against Trop-2, which could bolster our therapeutic armoury in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). In addition, the clinical focus is on understanding how to maintain fertility after breast cancer treatment. Here, pooled analyses provide new insights.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1464-1221DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8137275PMC
May 2021

Update Breast Cancer 2021 Part 1 - Prevention and Early Stages.

Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd 2021 May 3;81(5):526-538. Epub 2021 May 3.

Agaplesion Markus Krankenhaus, Department of Gynecology and Gynecological Oncology, Frankfurt, Germany.

This review summarises not only the latest evidence on prevention, but also the current research on the treatment of early-stage breast cancer patients. Recent years have seen a growing body of evidence on the risk of high- and moderate-penetrance breast cancer susceptibility genes. A large international consortium has now been able to further refine the answer to the question of the significance of the so-called panel genes. Moreover, the data on treatment selection regarding endocrine efficacy and the decision for or against chemotherapy have also been advanced markedly. There is also new data on adjuvant CDK4/6 (cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6) inhibitors, which are standard in first-line treatment in patients with metastatic HER2-negative, hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancer. For other therapies such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, which have successfully improved the rate of pathologic complete response (pCR) in neoadjuvant treatment settings for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), there is a growing understanding of the quality of life and side effects. This is especially important in situations where patients could possibly be cured without such a regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1464-0953DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8137274PMC
May 2021

Challenges and Opportunities for Real-World Evidence in Metastatic Luminal Breast Cancer.

Breast Care (Basel) 2021 Apr 16;16(2):108-114. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Erlangen University Hospital, Comprehensive Cancer Center Erlangen-EMN, Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Background: The therapeutic armamentarium for patients with metastatic breast cancer is becoming more and more specific. Recommendations from clinical trials are not available for all treatment situations and patient subgroups, and it is therefore important to collect real-world data.

Summary: To develop recommendations for up-to-date treatments and participation in clinical trials for patients with metastatic breast cancer, the Prospective Academic Translational Research PRAEGNANT Network was established to optimize the quality of oncological care in the advanced therapeutic setting. The main aim of PRAEGNANT is to systematically record medical care for patients with metastatic breast cancer in the real-life setting, including the outcome and side effects of different treatment strategies, to monitor quality-of-life changes during therapy, to identify patients eligible for participation in clinical studies, and to allow targeted therapies based on the molecular structures of breast carcinomas.

Key Messages: This article describes the PRAEGNANT network and sheds light on the question of whether the various end points from clinical trials can be transferred to the real-world treatment situation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000515701DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8114055PMC
April 2021

Update Breast Cancer 2020 Part 5 - Moving Therapies From Advanced to Early Breast Cancer Patients.

Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd 2021 Apr 14;81(4):469-480. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Frauenklinik, Universitätsklinikum Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany.

In recent years, significant progress has been made in new therapeutic approaches to breast cancer, particularly in patients with HER2-positive and HER2-negative/hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancer. In the case of HER2-positive tumours, these approaches have included, in particular, treatment with pertuzumab, T-DM1, neratinib and, soon, also tucatinib and trastuzumab deruxtecan (neither of which has yet been authorised in Europe). In patients with HER2-/HR+ breast cancer, CDK4/6 inhibitors and the PIK3CA inhibitor alpelisib are of particular importance. Further novel therapies, such as Akt kinase inhibitors and oral SERDs (selective estrogen receptor down regulators), are already being investigated in ongoing clinical trials. These therapeutic agents are not only being introduced into curative, (neo-)adjuvant therapeutic settings for HER2-positive tumours; a first favourable study on abemaciclib as an adjuvant therapy has now also been published. In patients with triple-negative breast cancer, after many years of negative study results with the Trop-2 antibody drug conjugate (ADC) sacituzumab govitecan, a randomised study has been published that may represent a significant therapeutic advance. This review describes the latest developments in breast cancer subsequent to the ESMO Congress 2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1397-7170DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046519PMC
April 2021

Mutations in and Other Panel Genes in Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer -Association With Patient and Disease Characteristics and Effect on Prognosis.

J Clin Oncol 2021 May 29;39(15):1619-1630. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Purpose: Among patients with metastatic breast cancer (mBC), the frequency of germline mutations in cancer susceptibility genes and the clinical relevance of these mutations are unclear. In this study, a prospective cohort of patients with mBC was used to determine mutation rates for breast cancer (BC) predisposition genes, to evaluate the clinical characteristics of patients with mutations, and to assess the influence of mutations on patient outcome.

Patients And Methods: Germline DNA from 2,595 patients with mBC enrolled in the prospective PRAEGNANT registry was evaluated for mutations in cancer predisposition genes. The frequencies of mutations in known BC predisposition genes were compared with results from a prospective registry of patients with nonmetastatic BC sequenced using the same QIAseq method and with public reference controls. Associations between mutation status and tumor characteristics, progression-free survival, and overall survival were assessed.

Results: Germline mutations in 12 established BC predisposition genes (including and ) were detected in 271 (10.4%) patients. A mutation in or was seen in 129 patients (5.0%). mutation carriers had a higher proportion of brain metastasis (27.1%) compared with nonmutation carriers (12.8%). Mutations were significantly enriched in PRAEGNANT patients with mBC compared with patients with nonmetastatic BC (10.4% 6.6%, < .01). Mutations did not significantly modify progression-free survival or overall survival for patients with mBC.

Conclusion: Multigene panel testing may be considered in all patients with mBC because of the high frequency of germline mutations in and other BC predisposition genes. Although the prognosis of mutation carriers and nonmutation carriers with mBC was similar, differences observed in tumor characteristics have implications for treatment and for future studies of targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8274805PMC
May 2021

Therapy response and prognosis of patients with early breast cancer with low positivity for hormone receptors - An analysis of 2765 patients from neoadjuvant clinical trials.

Eur J Cancer 2021 May 18;148:159-170. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

German Breast Group (GBG Forschungs GmbH), Neu-Isenburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Aim: To evaluate HER2-negative breast cancer (BC) with a low hormone receptor (HR) expression, with regard to pathological complete response (pCR) and survival, in comparison to triple-negative BC (TNBC) and strong HR-positive BC.

Methods: We compared negative [oestrogen (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) <1%], low-positive (ER and/or PR 1-9%) and strong-positive (ER or PR 10-100%) HR-expression in neoadjuvant clinical trial cohorts (n = 2765) of BC patients. End-points were disease-free survival (DFS), distant-disease free survival (DDFS) and overall survival (OS). We performed RNA sequencing on available tumour tissue samples from patients with low-HR expression (n = 38).

Results: Ninety-four (3.4%) patients had low HR-positive tumours, 1769 (64.0%) had strong HR-positive tumours, and 902 (32.6%) had TNBC. There were no significant differences in pCR rates between women with low HR-positive tumours (27.7%) and women with TNBC (35.5%). DFS and DDFS were also not different [for DFS, hazard ratio 1.26, 95%-CI (confidence interval) : 0.87-1.83, log-rank test p = 0.951; for DDFS, hazard ratio 1.17, 95%-CI: 0.78-1.76, log-rank test p = 0.774]. Patients with strong HR-positive tumours had a significantly lower pCR rate (pCR 9.4%; odds ratio 0.38, 95%-CI: 0.23-0.63), but better DFS (hazard ratio 0.48, 95%-CI: 0.33-0.70) and DDFS (hazard ratio 0.49, 95%-CI: 0.33-0.74) than patients with low HR-positive tumours. Molecular subtyping (RNA sequencing) of low HR-positive tumours classified these predominantly into a basal subtype (86.8%).

Conclusion: Low HR-positive, HER2-negative tumours have a similar clinical behaviour to TNBC showing high pCR rates and poor survival and also a basal-like gene expression signature. Patients with low HR-positive tumours should be regarded as candidates for therapy strategies targeting TNBC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.02.020DOI Listing
May 2021

Neoadjuvant and adjuvant end-points in health technology assessment in oncology.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Apr 19;147:40-50. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Hematology, Oncology and Tumour Immunology, Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin, University Medicine Berlin, 12200 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:

Health technology assessment (HTA) of clinical and economic value of a new intervention is an integral step in providing the access of patients to innovative cancer care and treatment. Overall survival (OS) is the preferred criterion for demonstrating the therapeutic efficacy in HTA given its direct clinical and patient relevance. However, with often long life expectancy of patients with early cancer, analysis of OS becomes less practical. Partially due to this reason, pathological complete response (pCR) and time-to-event end-points like disease-free survival are frequently incorporated into the pivotal clinical trials in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings. However, there exists a discrepancy between different national HTA bodies regarding the acknowledgement of patient relevance of these end-points. In this article, we analysed the perspectives of patients on different aspects of end-points used in clinical trials in early cancer. Gathered evidence strongly suggests that complete tumour eradication and reduced risk of recurrence provide important psychological benefits thus signifying that pCR and time-to-event end-points are directly relevant to patients. Additionally, we reviewed opinions on patient relevance of neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy end-points adopted by HTA bodies during the recent evaluations. We found that improvements in end-points used in the adjuvant setting were commonly considered as valuable to patients. In contrast, opinions on patient relevance of neoadjuvant therapy end-points varied between the national HTA bodies. Universal acknowledgement of patient relevance of therapeutic end-points for early cancer by HTA bodies is necessary to balance the inequality in uptake of innovative therapies into national healthcare systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.01.006DOI Listing
April 2021

Immune-related Gene Expression Predicts Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy but not Additional Benefit from PD-L1 Inhibition in Women with Early Triple-negative Breast Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 May 16;27(9):2584-2591. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Department of Pathology, Philipps-University Marburg and University Hospital Marburg (UKGM), Marburg, Germany.

Purpose: We evaluated mRNA signatures to predict response to neoadjuvant PD-L1 inhibition in combination with chemotherapy in early triple-negative breast cancer.

Experimental Design: Targeted mRNA sequencing of 2,559 transcripts was performed in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples from 162 patients of the GeparNuevo trial. We focused on validation of four predefined gene signatures and differential gene expression analyses for new predictive markers.

Results: Two signatures [GeparSixto signature (G6-Sig) and IFN signature (IFN-Sig)] were predictive for treatment response in a multivariate model including treatment arm [G6-Sig: OR, 1.558; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.130-2.182; = 0.008 and IFN-Sig: OR, 1.695; 95% CI, 1.234-2.376; = 0.002), while the CYT metric predicted pathologic complete response (pCR) in the durvalumab arm, and the proliferation-associated gene signature in the placebo arm. Expression of PD-L1 mRNA was associated with better response in both arms, indicating that increased levels of PD-L1 are a general predictor of neoadjuvant therapy response. In an exploratory analysis, we identified seven genes that were higher expressed in responders in the durvalumab arm, but not the placebo arm: , and . These genes were associated with cellular antigen processing and presentation and IFN signaling.

Conclusions: Immune-associated signatures are associated with pCR after chemotherapy, but might be of limited use for the prediction of response to additional immune checkpoint blockade. Gene expressions related to antigen presentation and IFN signaling might be interesting candidates for further evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-3113DOI Listing
May 2021

Atezolizumab and nab-Paclitaxel in Advanced Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Biomarker Evaluation of the IMpassion130 Study.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Feb 1. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Understanding the impact of the tumor immune microenvironment and BRCA-related DNA repair deficiencies on the clinical activity of immune checkpoint inhibitors may help optimize both patient and treatment selection in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC). In this substudy from the phase 3 IMpassion130 trial, immune biomarkers and BRCA alterations were evaluated for association with clinical benefit with atezolizumab (A) + nab-paclitaxel (nP) vs placebo + nP in unresectable locally advanced or mTNBC.

Methods: Patients were randomized 1:1 to nab-paclitaxel 100 mg/m2 (days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle) + atezolizumab 840 mg every 2 weeks or placebo until progression or toxicity. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were evaluated based on programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression on immune cells (IC) and tumor cells (TC), intratumoral CD8, stromal tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (sTILs), and BRCA1/2 mutations.

Results: PD-L1 IC+ in either primary or metastatic tumor tissue was linked to PFS and OS benefit with A+nP. PD-L1 IC+ low (26.9%; 243 of 902 patients) and high (13.9%; 125 of 902 patients) populations had improved outcomes that were comparable. Intratumoral CD8 and sTILs positivity were associated with PD-L1 IC+ status; A+nP vs P+nP improved outcomes were observed only in CD8+ and sTIL+ patients who were also PD-L1 IC+. BRCA1/2 mutations (occurring in 14.5% [89 of 612 patients]) were not associated with PD-L1 IC status, and PD-L1 IC+ patients benefited from A+nP regardless of BRCA1/2 mutation status.

Conclusions: Although A+nP was more efficacious in patients with richer tumor immune microenvironment, clinical benefit was only observed in patients whose tumors were PD-L1 IC+.S.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab004DOI Listing
February 2021

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: longitudinal analysis of predictors for postural control.

Sci Rep 2021 Jan 27;11(1):2398. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Neurology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany.

Impaired postural control is often observed in response to neurotoxic chemotherapy. However, potential explanatory factors other than chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) have not been adequately considered to date due to primarily cross-sectional study designs. Our objective was to comprehensively analyze postural control during and after neurotoxic chemotherapy, and to identify potential CIPN-independent predictors for its impairment. Postural control and CIPN symptoms (EORTC QLQ-CIPN20) were longitudinally assessed before, during and three weeks after neurotoxic chemotherapy, and in three and six months follow-up examinations (N = 54). The influence of peripheral nerve function as determined by nerve conduction studies (NCS: compound motor action potentials (CMAP) and sensory action potentials (SNAP)), physical activity, and muscle strength on the change in postural control during and after chemotherapy was analyzed by multiple linear regression adjusted for age and body mass index. Postural control, CIPN signs/symptoms, and CMAP/SNAP amplitudes significantly deteriorated during chemotherapy (p < .01). During follow-up, patients recovered from postural instabilities (p < .01), whereas CIPN signs/symptoms and pathologic NCS findings persisted compared to baseline (p < .001). The regression model showed that low CMAP and high SNAP amplitudes at baseline predicted impairment of postural control during but not after chemotherapy. Hence, pre-therapeutically disturbed somatosensory inputs may induce adaptive processes that have compensatory effects and allow recovery of postural control while CIPN signs/symptoms and pathologic peripheral nerve function persist. Baseline NCS findings in cancer patients who receive neurotoxic chemotherapy thus might assist in delineating individual CIPN risk profiles more precisely to which specific exercise intervention programs could be tailor-made.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81902-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7840973PMC
January 2021

Breast Cancer Risk Factors and Survival by Tumor Subtype: Pooled Analyses from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Apr 26;30(4):623-642. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Gynaecology Research Unit, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Background: It is not known whether modifiable lifestyle factors that predict survival after invasive breast cancer differ by subtype.

Methods: We analyzed data for 121,435 women diagnosed with breast cancer from 67 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium with 16,890 deaths (8,554 breast cancer specific) over 10 years. Cox regression was used to estimate associations between risk factors and 10-year all-cause mortality and breast cancer-specific mortality overall, by estrogen receptor (ER) status, and by intrinsic-like subtype.

Results: There was no evidence of heterogeneous associations between risk factors and mortality by subtype ( > 0.30). The strongest associations were between all-cause mortality and BMI ≥30 versus 18.5-25 kg/m [HR (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.19 (1.06-1.34)]; current versus never smoking [1.37 (1.27-1.47)], high versus low physical activity [0.43 (0.21-0.86)], age ≥30 years versus <20 years at first pregnancy [0.79 (0.72-0.86)]; >0-<5 years versus ≥10 years since last full-term birth [1.31 (1.11-1.55)]; ever versus never use of oral contraceptives [0.91 (0.87-0.96)]; ever versus never use of menopausal hormone therapy, including current estrogen-progestin therapy [0.61 (0.54-0.69)]. Similar associations with breast cancer mortality were weaker; for example, 1.11 (1.02-1.21) for current versus never smoking.

Conclusions: We confirm associations between modifiable lifestyle factors and 10-year all-cause mortality. There was no strong evidence that associations differed by ER status or intrinsic-like subtype.

Impact: Given the large dataset and lack of evidence that associations between modifiable risk factors and 10-year mortality differed by subtype, these associations could be cautiously used in prognostication models to inform patient-centered care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-0924DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026532PMC
April 2021

Breast Cancer Risk Genes - Association Analysis in More than 113,000 Women.

N Engl J Med 2021 02 20;384(5):428-439. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

The authors' affiliations are as follows: the Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, Departments of Public Health and Primary Care (L.D., S. Carvalho, J.A., K.A.P., Q.W., M.K.B., J.D., B.D., N. Mavaddat, K. Michailidou, A.C.A., P.D.P.P., D.F.E.) and Oncology (C.L., P.A.H., C. Baynes, D.M.C., L.F., V.R., M. Shah, P.D.P.P., A.M.D., D.F.E.), University of Cambridge, Cambridge, the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (A. Campbell, D.J.P.), and the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, Department of Psychology (D.J.P.), University of Edinburgh, the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre (D.A.C., J.F.), and the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh Medical School (A. Campbell, J.F.), Edinburgh, the Divisions of Informatics, Imaging, and Data Sciences (E.F.H.), Cancer Sciences (A. Howell), Population Health, Health Services Research, and Primary Care (A. Lophatananon, K. Muir), and Evolution and Genomic Sciences, School of Biological Sciences (W.G.N., E.M.V., D.G.E.), University of Manchester, the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Unit (E.F.H.) and the Nightingale Breast Screening Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital (E.F.H., H.I.), Academic Health Science Centre and North West Genomics Laboratory Hub, and the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (W.G.N., E.M.V., D.G.E.), Manchester, the School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Guy's Campus, King's College London, London (E.J.S.), the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham (I.T.), and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford (I.T.) - all in the United Kingdom; the Human Genotyping-CEGEN Unit, Human Cancer Genetic Program (A.G.-N., M.R.A., N.Á., B.H., R.N.-T.), and the Human Genetics Group (V.F., A.O., J.B.), Spanish National Cancer Research Center, Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras (A.O., J.B.), Servicio de Oncología Médica, Hospital Universitario La Paz (M.P.Z.), and Molecular Oncology Laboratory, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Clínico San Carlos (M. de la Hoya), Madrid, the Genomic Medicine Group, Galician Foundation of Genomic Medicine, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago de Compostela, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago (A. Carracedo, M.G.-D.), and Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras y Centro Nacional de Genotipado, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (A. Carracedo), Santiago de Compostela, the Oncology and Genetics Unit, Instituto de Investigacion Sanitaria Galicia Sur, Xerencia de Xestion Integrada de Vigo-Servizo Galeo de Saúde, Vigo (J.E.C.), and Servicio de Cirugía General y Especialidades, Hospital Monte Naranco, Oviedo (J.I.A.P.) - all in Spain; the Division of Oncology and Pathology, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund (C. Wahlström, J.V., M.L., T. Törngren, Å.B., A.K.), the Department of Oncology, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro (C. Blomqvist), and the Departments of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (K.C., M.E., M.G., P. Hall, W.H., K.H.), Oncology, Södersjukhuset (P. Hall, S. Margolin), Molecular Medicine and Surgery (A. Lindblom), and Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset (S. Margolin, C. Wendt), Karolinska Institutet, and the Department of Clinical Genetics, Karolinska University Hospital (A. Lindblom), Stockholm - all in Sweden; the Department of Genetics and Computational Biology, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD (M.T.P., C.F., G.C.-T., A.B.S.), the Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria (G.G.G., R.J.M., R.L.M.), the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (G.G.G., R.J.M., R.L.M.), and the Department of Clinical Pathology (M.C.S.), University of Melbourne, Anatomical Pathology, Alfred Hospital (C.M.), and the Cancer Epidemiology Division, Cancer Council Victoria (M.C.S.), Melbourne, VIC, and Precision Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, VIC (G.G.G., M.C.S., R.L.M.) - all in Australia; the Division of Molecular Pathology (R.K., S. Cornelissen, M.K.S.), Family Cancer Clinic (F.B.L.H., L.E.K.), Department of Epidemiology (M.A.R.), and Division of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology (M.K.S.), the Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, Division Laboratories, Pharmacy and Biomedical Genetics, Department of Genetics, University Medical Center, Utrecht (M.G.E.M.A.), the Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus University Medical Center (J.M.C., A.M.W.O.), and the Department of Medical Oncology, Family Cancer Clinic, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute (B.A.M.H.-G., A. Hollestelle, M.J.H.), Rotterdam, the Department of Clinical Genetics, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht (E.B.G.G.), the Departments of Human Genetics (I.M.M.L., M.P.G.V., P.D.), Clinical Genetics (C.J.A.), and Pathology (P.D.), Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen (A.R.M.), and the Department of Genetics, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen (J.C.O.) - all in the Netherlands; the Cancer Genetics and Comparative Genomics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute (B.D.), and the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute (T.A., S.J.C., X.R.Y., M.G.-C.), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; the Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School (B.D.), and the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (R.M.V.D.), Boston; the Departments of Clinical Genetics (K.A.), Oncology (C. Blomqvist), and Obstetrics and Gynecology (H.N., M. Suvanto), Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, and the Unit of Clinical Oncology, Kuopio University Hospital (P. Auvinen), the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Oncology (P. Auvinen), the Translational Cancer Research Area (J.M.H., V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), and the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Pathology, and Forensic Medicine (J.M.H., V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), University of Eastern Finland, and the Biobank of Eastern Finland, Kuopio University Hospital (V.-M.K., A. Mannermaa), Kuopio - both in Finland; the N.N. Alexandrov Research Institute of Oncology and Medical Radiology, Minsk, Belarus (N.N.A., N.V.B.); the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Kiel (N.A.), the Institute of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology (H. Becher) and Cancer Epidemiology Group (T.M., J.C.-C.), University Cancer Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics (M.W.B., P.A.F., L.H.) and Institute of Human Genetics (A.B.E.), University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Comprehensive Cancer Center Erlangen-European Metropolitan Region of Nuremberg, Erlangen, the Division of Cancer Epidemiology (S.B., A. Jung, P.M.K., J.C.-C.), Molecular Epidemiology Group, C080 (B. Burwinkel, H.S.), Division of Pediatric Neurooncology (A.F.), and Molecular Genetics of Breast Cancer (U.H., M.M., M.U.R., D.T.), German Cancer Research Center, Molecular Biology of Breast Cancer, University Women's Clinic Heidelberg, University of Heidelberg (B. Burwinkel, A.S., H.S.), Hopp Children's Cancer Center (A.F.), Faculty of Medicine, University of Heidelberg (P.M.K.), and National Center for Tumor Diseases, University Hospital and German Cancer Research Center (A.S., C.S.), Heidelberg, the Department of Radiation Oncology (N.V.B., M. Bremer, H.C.) and the Gynecology Research Unit (N.V.B., T.D., P. Hillemanns, T.-W.P.-S., P.S.), Hannover Medical School, Hannover, the Institute of Human Genetics, University of Münster, Münster (N.B.-M.), Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch-Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Stuttgart (H. Brauch, W.-Y.L.), iFIT-Cluster of Excellence, University of Tübingen, and the German Cancer Consortium, German Cancer Research Center, Partner Site Tübingen (H. Brauch), and the University of Tübingen (W.-Y.L.), Tübingen, Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum (T.B.), Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics, and Epidemiology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig (C.E.), Center for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (E.H., R.K.S.) and Center for Integrated Oncology (E.H., R.K.S.), Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, the Department of Internal Medicine, Evangelische Kliniken Bonn, Johanniter Krankenhaus, Bonn (Y.-D.K.), the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Munich, Campus Großhadern, Munich (A. Meindl), and the Institute of Pathology, Städtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe (T.R.) - all in Germany; the Gynecological Cancer Registry, Centre Georges-François Leclerc, Dijon (P. Arveux), and the Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, Team Exposome and Heredity, INSERM, University Paris-Saclay, Villejuif (E.C.-D., P.G., T. Truong) - both in France; the Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Ufa Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (M. Bermisheva, E.K.), the Department of Genetics and Fundamental Medicine, Bashkir State University (E.K., D.P., Y.V.), and the Ufa Research Institute of Occupational Health and Human Ecology (Y.V.), Ufa, Russia; the Department of Genetics and Pathology (K.B., A. Jakubowska, J. Lubiński, K.P.) and the Independent Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Genetic Diagnostics (A. Jakubowska), Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland; the Copenhagen General Population Study, the Department of Clinical Biochemistry (S.E.B., B.G.N.), and the Department of Breast Surgery (H.F.), Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen (S.E.B., B.G.N.) - both in Denmark; the Division of Cancer Prevention and Genetics, European Institute of Oncology Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) (B. Bonanni), the Unit of Medical Genetics, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano (S. Manoukian), the Genome Diagnostics Program, FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (P.P.), and the Unit of Molecular Bases of Genetic Risk and Genetic Testing, Department of Research, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (P.R.), Milan; the Department of Cancer Genetics, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital-Radiumhospitalet (A.-L.B.-D., G.I.G.A., V.N.K.), and the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo (A.-L.B.-D., V.N.K.), Oslo; Medical Faculty, Universidad de La Sabana (I.B.), and the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department (F.G.) and Institute of Human Genetics (D.T.), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia; the Department of Internal Medicine and Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah (N.J.C., M.J.M., J.A.W.), and the Intermountain Healthcare Biorepository and Department of Pathology, Intermountain Healthcare (M.H.C.), Salt Lake City; the David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Medicine Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of California, Los Angeles (P.A.F.), and Moores Cancer Center (M.G.-D., M.E.M.) and the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health (M.E.M.), University of California San Diego, La Jolla; the Departments of Medical Oncology (V.G., D.M.) and Pathology (M.T.), University Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, and the Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Larissa, Larissa (E.S.) - both in Greece; the Fred A. Litwin Center for Cancer Genetics, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital (G.G., I.L.A.), the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (A.M.M.) and Molecular Genetics (I.L.A.), University of Toronto, and the Laboratory Medicine Program, University Health Network (A.M.M.), Toronto, and the Genomics Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec-Université Laval Research Center, Québec City, QC (J.S.) - both in Canada; the Department of Electron Microscopy and Molecular Pathology (A. Hadjisavvas, K.K., M.A.L.), the Cyprus School of Molecular Medicine (A. Hadjisavvas, K.K., M.A.L., K. Michailidou), and the Biostatistics Unit (K. Michailidou), Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus; the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (M. Hartman, R.M.V.D.) and the Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (R.M.V.D.), National University of Singapore, the Department of Surgery, National University Health System (M. Hartman, J. Li), and the Human Genetics Division, Genome Institute of Singapore (J. Li), Singapore; the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia (W.K.H.), and the Breast Cancer Research Programme, Cancer Research Malaysia (W.K.H., P.S.N., S.-Y.Y., S.H.T.), Selangor, and the Breast Cancer Research Unit, Cancer Research Institute (N.A.M.T.), and the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine (N.A.M.T., P.S.N., S.H.T.), University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur - both in Malaysia; Surgery, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway (M.J.K., N. Miller); the Department of Surgery, Daerim Saint Mary's Hospital (S.-W.K.), the Department of Surgery, Ulsan University College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center (J.W.L.), the Department of Surgery, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine and Soonchunhyang University Hospital (M.H.L.), Integrated Major in Innovative Medical Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine (S.K.P.), and the Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University (S.K.P.), Seoul, South Korea; the Department of Basic Sciences, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center, Lahore, Pakistan (M.U.R.); and the National Cancer Institute, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand (S.T.).

Background: Genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility is widely used, but for many genes, evidence of an association with breast cancer is weak, underlying risk estimates are imprecise, and reliable subtype-specific risk estimates are lacking.

Methods: We used a panel of 34 putative susceptibility genes to perform sequencing on samples from 60,466 women with breast cancer and 53,461 controls. In separate analyses for protein-truncating variants and rare missense variants in these genes, we estimated odds ratios for breast cancer overall and tumor subtypes. We evaluated missense-variant associations according to domain and classification of pathogenicity.

Results: Protein-truncating variants in 5 genes (, , , , and ) were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.0001. Protein-truncating variants in 4 other genes (, , , and ) were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.05 and a Bayesian false-discovery probability of less than 0.05. For protein-truncating variants in 19 of the remaining 25 genes, the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval of the odds ratio for breast cancer overall was less than 2.0. For protein-truncating variants in and , odds ratios were higher for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease than for ER-negative disease; for protein-truncating variants in , , , , , and , odds ratios were higher for ER-negative disease than for ER-positive disease. Rare missense variants (in aggregate) in , , and were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall with a P value of less than 0.001. For , , and , missense variants (in aggregate) that would be classified as pathogenic according to standard criteria were associated with a risk of breast cancer overall, with the risk being similar to that of protein-truncating variants.

Conclusions: The results of this study define the genes that are most clinically useful for inclusion on panels for the prediction of breast cancer risk, as well as provide estimates of the risks associated with protein-truncating variants, to guide genetic counseling. (Funded by European Union Horizon 2020 programs and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1913948DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611105PMC
February 2021

Therapy Algorithms for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients with Early and Advanced Breast Cancer.

Breast Care (Basel) 2020 Dec 2;15(6):608-618. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Gynecology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: In order to offer optimal treatment approaches based on available evidence, the Commission Breast of the Working Group Gynecologic Oncology (AGO) of the German Cancer Society developed therapy algorithms for eight complex treatment situations in primary and advanced breast cancer.

Summary: Therapy algorithms for the following complex treatment situations are outlined in this paper: (neo)adjuvant therapy of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer; axillary surgery and neoadjuvant chemotherapy; adjuvant endocrine therapy in premenopausal patients; adjuvant endocrine therapy in postmenopausal patients; hormone receptor (HR)-positive/HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer: strategies; HR-positive/HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer: endocrine-based first-line treatment; HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer: first to third-line; metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.

Key Messages: The therapy options shown in these algorithms are based on the current AGO recommendations updated in January 2020 but cannot represent all evidence-based treatment options. Prior therapies, performance status, comorbidities, patient preference, etc. must be taken into account for the actual treatment choice. Therefore, in individual cases, other evidence-based treatment options not listed here may also be appropriate and justified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000511925DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768141PMC
December 2020

Germline BRCA1/2 mutations and severe haematological toxicities in patients with breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Mar 7;145:44-52. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Erlangen, Comprehensive Cancer Center Erlangen-EMN, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Background: BRCA1 and BRCA2 play a central role in DNA repair. Therefore, patients harbouring germline (g) BRCA1/2 mutations (m) treated with chemotherapy might be at higher risk of haematological toxicities.

Methods: Patients from German Breast Group (GBG) and Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gynäkologische Onkologie-breast group studies with early triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and known gBRCA1/2m status treated with anthracycline-taxane-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy were analysed. Primary objective was the rate of neutropenia grade (G)III-IV in cycle 1 (C1). Secondary objectives included effects on overall and other haematological toxicities GIII-IV in C1, cumulative haematological toxicity across all cycles, relative total dose intensity, and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor prophylaxis. Haematological toxicities under taxanes, carboplatin, and cyclophosphamide were explored.

Results: Two hundred nine of 1171 (17.8%) evaluated patients had gBRCA1/2m. In C1, 37.4% gBRCA1/2m versus 35.7% wild-type patients had neutropenia GIII-IV (P = 0.683). For C1, gBRCA1/2m predicted neither for neutropenia GIII-IV (odds ratio [OR]: 1.26, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.87-1.82, P = 0.226) nor for other haematological toxicities GIII-IV (OR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.64-1.31, P = 0.625) in multivariable regression models. Analyses of cumulative toxicities across all cycles yielded similar results except thrombocytopaenia GIII-IV, which was increased in gBRCA1m patients. In patients treated with taxanes, the rate of haematological toxicities GIII-IV was higher in gBRCA1/2m compared with wild-type (59.5% versus 43.1%; p < 0.001). No difference was seen under cyclophosphamide or platinum-containing chemotherapies.

Conclusions: gBRCA1/2m was not associated with higher risk of overall severe haematological toxicities in the first cycle or cumulatively across all cycles under standard chemotherapy for TNBC. Under taxane, patients with gBRCA1/2m might have a higher risk of haematological toxicities GIII-IV, requiring further research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.12.007DOI Listing
March 2021

Adjuvant Radiation Therapy for Male Breast Cancer-A Rare Indication?

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Dec 4;12(12). Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Heidelberg University Hospital, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Due to its rarity, there are no randomized trials investigating the outcome of adjuvant radiotherapy in MBC. This study reports on patient and tumor characteristics of 41 consecutive MBC patients treated between 1990 and 2018 and on clinical outcomes after surgical resection of tumors and adjuvant radiotherapy of the chest wall or breast. Local control (LC), locoregional control (LRC), overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and toxicity were evaluated. After a median follow-up of 80 months (95% CI: 14.6-213.8 months) there was only one recurrence, in a patient's locoregional lymph nodes 17 months after start of radiotherapy, resulting in an LC rate of 100% at 5 years and a 5-year LRC rate of 97.4% (standard deviation (SD): 0.025). Five-year DFS and OS rates were 64.6% (SD: 0.085) and 57.2% (SD: 0.082), respectively. Adjuvant radiotherapy was tolerated well without high-grade (CTCAE grade > II) adverse events. After tumor resection and adjuvant radiotherapy, LC and LRC rates in MBC patients are excellent and comparable to results found for female breast cancer (FBC) patients. However, as patients are often diagnosed with locally advanced, higher-risk tumors, distant recurrences remain the major failure pattern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123645DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761961PMC
December 2020