Publications by authors named "Atocha Romero"

60 Publications

Clinical and molecular parameters associated to pneumonitis development in non-small-cell lung cancer patients receiving chemoimmunotherapy from NADIM trial.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Aug;9(8)

Oncología Médica, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Puerta de Hierro-Segovia de Arana (IDIPHISA), Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain

Background: Pneumonitis (Pn) is one of the main immune-related adverse effects, having a special importance in lung cancer, since they share affected tissue. Despite its clinical relevance, Pn development remains an unpredictable treatment adverse effect, whose mechanisms are mainly unknown, being even more obscure when it is associated to chemoimmunotherapy.

Methods: In order to identify parameters associated to treatment related Pn, we analyzed clinical variables and molecular parameters from 46 patients with potentially resectable stage IIIA non-small-cell lung cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy included in the NADIM clinical trial (NCT03081689). Pn was defined as clinical or radiographic evidence of lung inflammation without alternative diagnoses, from treatment initiation to 180 days.

Results: Among 46 patients, 12 developed Pn (26.1%). Sex, age, smoking status, packs-year, histological subtype, clinical or pathological response, progression-free survival, overall survival and number of nivolumab cycles, were not associated to Pn development. Regarding molecular parameters at diagnosis, Pn development was not associated to programmed death ligand 1, TPS, T cell receptor repertoire parameters, or tumor mutational burden. However, patients who developed Pn had statistically significant lower blood median levels of platelet to monocyte ratio (p=0.012) and teratocarcinoma-derived growth factor 1 (p=0.013; area under the curve (AUC) 0.801), but higher median percentages of natural killers (NKs) (p=0.019; AUC 0.786), monocytes (p=0.017; AUC 0.791), MSP (p=0.006; AUC 0.838), PARN (p=0.017; AUC 0.790), and E-Cadherin (p=0.022; AUC 0.788). In addition, the immune scenario of Pn after neoadjuvant treatment involves: high levels of neutrophils and NK cells, but low levels of B and T cells in peripheral blood; increased clonality of intratumoral T cells; and elevated plasma levels of several growth factors (EGF, HGF, VEGF, ANG-1, PDGF, NGF, and NT4) and inflammatory cytokines (MIF, CCL16, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, BMP-4, and u-PAR).

Conclusions: Although statistically underpowered, our results shed light on the possible mechanisms behind Pn development, involving innate and adaptative immunity, and open the possibility to predict patients at high risk. If confirmed, this may allow the personalization of both, the surveillance strategy and the therapeutic approaches to manage Pn in patients receiving chemoimmunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002804DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8395363PMC
August 2021

Use of Liquid Biopsy in the Care of Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Curr Treat Options Oncol 2021 Aug 23;22(10):86. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda University Hospital, Calle Joaquín Rodrigo, 1, 28222, Madrid, Majadahonda, Spain.

Opinion Statement: Recent technological advances have enabled the development of liquid biopsy-based approaches, which have revolutionized the diagnostic world. The analysis of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) has several clinical applications. First, ctDNA genotyping is becoming widely used for non-invasive biomarker testing. Of note, in lung cancer patients in whom biopsies are difficult to obtain, ctDNA has led to significant improvement in the diagnosis and identification of therapeutic targets. In addition, ctDNA quantification over the course of the disease can be useful for tumor response to treatment monitoring and for early detection of resistance mutations. ctDNA levels per se are also of prognostic significance and could be used to tailor treatments. Finally, improvements in assay sensitivity are facilitating the development of liquid biopsy-based tests for the detection of ctDNA at very low allele frequencies (AFs), which can be used for the measurement of minimal residual disease and ultimately for the development of strategies (by complementing imaging techniques) aimed to improve the efficiency of lung cancer screening programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11864-021-00882-9DOI Listing
August 2021

Association of germline genetic variants with breast cancer-specific survival in patient subgroups defined by clinic-pathological variables related to tumor biology and type of systemic treatment.

Breast Cancer Res 2021 Aug 18;23(1):86. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

Department of Medicine, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Background: Given the high heterogeneity among breast tumors, associations between common germline genetic variants and survival that may exist within specific subgroups could go undetected in an unstratified set of breast cancer patients.

Methods: We performed genome-wide association analyses within 15 subgroups of breast cancer patients based on prognostic factors, including hormone receptors, tumor grade, age, and type of systemic treatment. Analyses were based on 91,686 female patients of European ancestry from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, including 7531 breast cancer-specific deaths over a median follow-up of 8.1 years. Cox regression was used to assess associations of common germline variants with 15-year and 5-year breast cancer-specific survival. We assessed the probability of these associations being true positives via the Bayesian false discovery probability (BFDP < 0.15).

Results: Evidence of associations with breast cancer-specific survival was observed in three patient subgroups, with variant rs5934618 in patients with grade 3 tumors (15-year-hazard ratio (HR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] 1.32 [1.20, 1.45], P = 1.4E-08, BFDP = 0.01, per G allele); variant rs4679741 in patients with ER-positive tumors treated with endocrine therapy (15-year-HR [95% CI] 1.18 [1.11, 1.26], P = 1.6E-07, BFDP = 0.09, per G allele); variants rs1106333 (15-year-HR [95% CI] 1.68 [1.39,2.03], P = 5.6E-08, BFDP = 0.12, per A allele) and rs78754389 (5-year-HR [95% CI] 1.79 [1.46,2.20], P = 1.7E-08, BFDP = 0.07, per A allele), in patients with ER-negative tumors treated with chemotherapy.

Conclusions: We found evidence of four loci associated with breast cancer-specific survival within three patient subgroups. There was limited evidence for the existence of associations in other patient subgroups. However, the power for many subgroups is limited due to the low number of events. Even so, our results suggest that the impact of common germline genetic variants on breast cancer-specific survival might be limited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-021-01450-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8371820PMC
August 2021

Pre-treatment tissue TCR repertoire evenness is associated with complete pathological response in patients with NSCLC receiving neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Aug 10. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Medical Oncology, Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Purpose: Characterization of the T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire may be a promising source for predictive biomarkers of pathological response to immunotherapy in locally-advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Experimental Design: In this study, next-generation TCR sequencing was performed in peripheral blood and tissue samples of 40 NSCLC patients, before and after neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy (NADIM clinical trial, NCT03081689), considering their complete pathologic response (CPR) or non-CPR. Beyond TCR metrics, tissue clones were ranked by their frequency and spatiotemporal evolution of top 1% clones was determined.

Results: We have found a positive association between an uneven TCR repertoire in tissue samples at diagnosis and CPR at surgery. Moreover, TCR most frequent-ranked clones (top 1%) present in diagnostic biopsies occupied greater frequency in the total clonal space of CPR patients, achieving an AUC ROC to identify CPR patients of 0.967 (95% CI, 0.897 to 1.000; p=0.001), and improving the results of PD-L1 TPS (AUC 0.767; p=0.026) or TMB (AUC 0.550; p=0.687). Furthermore, tumors with high pre-treatment top 1% clonal space showed similar immune cell populations but a higher immune reactive gene expression profile. Finally, the selective expansion of pre-treatment tissue top 1% clones in peripheral blood of CPR patients suggests also a peripheral immunosurveillance, which could explain the high survival rate of these patients.

Conclusions: We have identified two parameters derived from TCR repertoire analysis that could outperform PD-L1 TPS and TMB as predictive biomarkers of CPR after neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy, and unraveled possible mechanisms of CPR involving enhanced tumor immunogenicity and peripheral immunosurveillance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-1200DOI Listing
August 2021

Mendelian randomisation study of smoking exposure in relation to breast cancer risk.

Br J Cancer 2021 Aug 2. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Background: Despite a modest association between tobacco smoking and breast cancer risk reported by recent epidemiological studies, it is still equivocal whether smoking is causally related to breast cancer risk.

Methods: We applied Mendelian randomisation (MR) to evaluate a potential causal effect of cigarette smoking on breast cancer risk. Both individual-level data as well as summary statistics for 164 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) reported in genome-wide association studies of lifetime smoking index (LSI) or cigarette per day (CPD) were used to obtain MR effect estimates. Data from 108,420 invasive breast cancer cases and 87,681 controls were used for the LSI analysis and for the CPD analysis conducted among ever-smokers from 26,147 cancer cases and 26,072 controls. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to address pleiotropy.

Results: Genetically predicted LSI was associated with increased breast cancer risk (OR 1.18 per SD, 95% CI: 1.07-1.30, P = 0.11 × 10), but there was no evidence of association for genetically predicted CPD (OR 1.02, 95% CI: 0.78-1.19, P = 0.85). The sensitivity analyses yielded similar results and showed no strong evidence of pleiotropic effect.

Conclusion: Our MR study provides supportive evidence for a potential causal association with breast cancer risk for lifetime smoking exposure but not cigarettes per day among smokers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01432-8DOI Listing
August 2021

Blood biomarkers associated to complete pathological response on NSCLC patients treated with neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy included in NADIM clinical trial.

Clin Transl Med 2021 Jul;11(7):e491

Servicio de Oncología Médica, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Puerta de Hierro-Segovia de Arana (IDIPHISA), Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Immunotherapy is being tested in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and achieving higher rates of complete pathological responses (CPR) as compared to standard of care. Early identification of CPR patients has vital clinical implications. In this study, we focused on basal peripheral immune cells and their treatment-related changes to find biomarkers associated to CPR.

Methods: Blood from 29 stage IIIA NSCLC patients participating in the NADIM trial (NCT03081689) was collected at diagnosis and post neoadjuvant treatment. More than 400 parameters of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) phenotype and plasma soluble factors were analyzed.

Results: Neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy altered more than 150 immune parameters. At diagnosis, 11 biomarkers associated to CPR were described, with an area under the ROC curve >0.70 and p-value <.05. CPR patients had significantly higher levels of CD4 PD-1 cells, NKG2D, and CD56 expression on T CD56 cells, intensity of CD25 expression on CD4 CD25hi cells and CD69 expression on intermediate monocytes; but lower levels of CD3 CD56 CTLA-4 cells, CD14 CD16 CTLA-4 cells, CTLA-4 expression on T CD56 cells and lower levels of b-NGF, NT-3, and VEGF-D in plasma compared to non-CPR. Post treatment, CPR patients had significantly higher levels of CD19 expression on B cells, BCMA, 4-1BB, MCSF, and PARC and lower levels of MPIF-1 and Flt-3L in plasma compared to non-CPR.

Conclusions: Patients achieving CPR seem to have a distinctive peripheral blood immune status at diagnosis, even showing different immune response to treatment. These results reinforce the different biology behind CPR and non-CPR responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ctm2.491DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8288017PMC
July 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 07 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
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8322933PMC
July 2021

NGS-based liquid biopsy profiling identifies mechanisms of resistance to ALK inhibitors: a step toward personalized NSCLC treatment.

Mol Oncol 2021 Sep 18;15(9):2363-2376. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Liquid Biopsy Laboratory, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Spain.

Despite impressive and durable responses, nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors (ALK-Is) ultimately progress due to development of resistance. Here, we have evaluated the clinical utility of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) profiling by next-generation sequencing (NGS) upon disease progression. We collected 26 plasma and two cerebrospinal fluid samples from 24 advanced ALK-positive NSCLC patients at disease progression to an ALK-I. These samples were analyzed by NGS and digital PCR. A tool to retrieve variants at the ALK locus was developed (VALK tool). We identified at least one resistance mutation in the ALK locus in ten (38.5%) plasma samples; the G1269A and G1202R mutations were the most prevalent among patients progressing to first- and second-generation ALK-Is, respectively. Overall, 61 somatic mutations were detected in 14 genes: TP53, ALK, PIK3CA, SMAD4, MAP2K1 (MEK1), FGFR2, FGFR3, BRAF, EGFR, IDH2, MYC, MET, CCND3, and CCND1. Specifically, a deletion in exon 19 in EGFR, a non-V600 BRAF mutation (G466V), and the F129L mutation in MAP2K1 were identified in four patients who showed no objective survival benefit from ALK-Is. Potential ALK-I-resistance mutations were also found in PIK3CA and IDH2. Finally, a c-MYC gain, along with a loss of CCND1 and FGFR3, was detected in a patient progressing on a first-line treatment with crizotinib. We conclude that NGS analysis of liquid biopsies upon disease progression identified different putative ALK-I-resistance mutations in most cases and could be a valuable approach for therapy decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1878-0261.13033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8410554PMC
September 2021

Analysis of circulating tumour DNA to identify patients with epidermal growth factor receptor-positive non-small cell lung cancer who might benefit from sequential tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment.

Eur J Cancer 2021 May 5;149:61-72. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Medical Oncology, Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: Survival data support the use of first-line osimertinib as the standard of care for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, it remains unclear whether upfront osimertinib is superior to sequential first- or second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) followed by osimertinib for all patients. It is impossible to predict which patients are at high risk of progression, and this constitutes a major limitation of the sequential TKI approach.

Patients And Methods: A total of 830 plasma samples from 228 patients with stage IV, EGFR-positive NSCLC who were treated with first-line TKIs were analysed by digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR).

Results: The circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) levels helped to identify patients with significantly improved survival rate, regardless of the treatment. Patients treated with first- or second-generation TKIs (N = 189) with EGFR mutations in plasma at a mutant allele frequency (MAF) <7% before treatment initiation (low-risk patients) or who were ctDNA negative after 3 or 6 months of treatment and with an MAF <7% at diagnosis (high responders) had two-thirds lower risk of death than patients in the opposite situation (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.23-0.64 and HR = 0.22; 95% CI: 0.12-0.42, respectively). The median overall survival (OS) for low-risk patients and high responders treated with first- or second-generation TKIs was 34.2 months and not reached, respectively, regardless of second-line treatment. There were no significant difference in OS between low-risk or high-responder patients treated upfront with osimertinib (N = 39) and those treated under a sequential approach with osimertinib (N = 60). Median OS was not reached in both cases.

Conclusions: Pre-treatment ctDNA levels identify low-risk patients, who may benefit from sequential TKI treatment. Information regarding EGFR mutation clearance can help to improve patient selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.02.031DOI Listing
May 2021

ctDNA from body fluids is an adequate source for biomarker testing in advanced lung adenocarcinoma.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2021 Jun 11;59(7):1221-1229. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Molecular Oncology Laboratory, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Objectives: Epidermal growth factor receptor () biomarker testing using blood-based liquid biopsies remains challenging due to the low concentration of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in certain plasma samples. The aim of this study is to evaluate the usefulness for biomarker testing of ctDNA from pleural effusions, cerebrospinal fluids, ascites and pericardial effusions obtained during the clinical management of lung adenocarcinoma patients.

Methods: For comparison purposes, 23 paired plasma and body fluid samples were collected from 17 patients with -positive lung adenocarcinoma. After circulating free DNA (cfDNA) isolation, samples were evaluated for the initial -sensitizing mutation and the p.T790M resistance mutation by array-based digital PCR (dPCR).

Results: Body fluids had more cfDNA than plasma samples (1.90 vs. 0.36 ng/µL; p=0.0130), and more samples tested positive for mutations (21 vs. 16 samples), with a total of 28 vs. 22 variants detected. Furthermore, mutant allele frequencies (MAFs) observed in body fluids were significantly higher than those assessed in the paired plasma samples for -sensitizing mutations (median MAFs = 15.8 vs. 0.8%; p=0.0004) as well as for the p.T790M resistance mutation (median MAFs = 8.69 vs. 0.16%; p=0.0390). Importantly, two patients who had progressed on first-generation -tyrosine kinase inhibitors with a dubious result for p.T790M plasma (MAFs = 0.11%) had an indisputably positive result in their respective body fluid samples (MAFs = 10.25 and 9.66%).

Conclusions: ctDNA derived from body fluids is an informative source for biomarker testing, with greater sensitivity than plasma samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2020-1465DOI Listing
June 2021

A case-only study to identify genetic modifiers of breast cancer risk for BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers.

Nat Commun 2021 02 17;12(1):1078. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Copenhagen General Population Study, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark.

Breast cancer (BC) risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers varies by genetic and familial factors. About 50 common variants have been shown to modify BC risk for mutation carriers. All but three, were identified in general population studies. Other mutation carrier-specific susceptibility variants may exist but studies of mutation carriers have so far been underpowered. We conduct a novel case-only genome-wide association study comparing genotype frequencies between 60,212 general population BC cases and 13,007 cases with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. We identify robust novel associations for 2 variants with BC for BRCA1 and 3 for BRCA2 mutation carriers, P < 10, at 5 loci, which are not associated with risk in the general population. They include rs60882887 at 11p11.2 where MADD, SP11 and EIF1, genes previously implicated in BC biology, are predicted as potential targets. These findings will contribute towards customising BC polygenic risk scores for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20496-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7890067PMC
February 2021

Functional Signatures in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Sex-Based Differences in Transcriptomic Studies.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 5;13(1). Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Unit, Principe Felipe Research Center (CIPF), 46012 Valencia, Spain.

While studies have established the existence of differences in the epidemiological and clinical patterns of lung adenocarcinoma between male and female patients, we know relatively little regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying such sex-based differences. In this study, we explore said differences through a meta-analysis of transcriptomic data. We performed a meta-analysis of the functional profiling of nine public datasets that included 1366 samples from Gene Expression Omnibus and The Cancer Genome Atlas databases. Meta-analysis results from data merged, normalized, and corrected for batch effect show an enrichment for Gene Ontology terms and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways related to the immune response, nucleic acid metabolism, and purinergic signaling. We discovered the overrepresentation of terms associated with the immune response, particularly with the acute inflammatory response, and purinergic signaling in female lung adenocarcinoma patients, which could influence reported clinical differences. Further evaluations of the identified differential biological processes and pathways could lead to the discovery of new biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Our findings also emphasize the relevance of sex-specific analyses in biomedicine, which represents a crucial aspect influencing biological variability in disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13010143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796260PMC
January 2021

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

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 04 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

Phase II clinical trial with metronomic oral vinorelbine and tri-weekly cisplatin as induction therapy, subsequently concomitant with radiotherapy (RT) in patients with locally advanced, unresectable, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Analysis of survival and value of ctDNA for patient selection.

Lung Cancer 2021 03 10;153:25-34. Epub 2021 Jan 10.

Medical Oncology, Hospital Clínico Universitario Lozano Blesa, Zaragoza, IIS Aragón, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: Little progress has been achieved in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with unresectable stage III disease and new drug schemes are warranted.

Material And Methods: In this open-label, single-arm, phase II trial 65 treatment-naïve stage III NSCLC deemed surgically unresectable by a multidisciplinary team were treated with 2 cycles of induction cisplatin at 80 mg/m every 21 days plus metronomic oral vinorelbine at 50 mg/day every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. During the concomitant treatment with thoracic radiotherapy cisplatin was administered in the same manner but oral vinorelbine was reduced to 30 mg/day. The objective was to administer a total radiotherapy dose of 66 Gy in 33 daily fractions of 2 Gy. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Correlation between circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) levels and survival was also evaluated.

Results: Fifty-five (78.5 %) patients completed treatment. Overall response rate, by RECIST criteria, was 66.2 %. Four (6.2 %) patients had complete response, 39 (60.0 %) partial response and 12 (18.5 %) stable disease. Seven patients (10.8 %) had progressive disease during the induction period. Median follow-up was 29.1 months (m), median PFS was 11.5 m (95 %CI: 9.6-15.4). PFS at 12 m in the intention-to-treat (ITT) population was 47.8 % (95 %CI: 35.1-59.4 %) and median OS was 35.6 m (95 %CI: 24.4-46.8). Grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 14 (21.5 %) patients during induction and in 13 (24.5 %) patients during concomitant treatment with esophagitis occurring in 3% and pneumonitis in 1.5 % of the patients. Patients with undetectable ctDNA after 3 m follow-up had median PFS and OS of 18.1 m (95 %CI: 8.8-NR) and not reached (NR) (95 %CI: 11.3-NR), respectively, compared with 8.0 m (95 %CI: 2.7-NR) and 24.7 m (95 %CI: 5.7-NR) for patients who remained ctDNA positive at that time point.

Conclusions: Metronomic oral vinorelbine and cisplatin obtains similar efficacy results with significantly lower toxicity than the same chemotherapy at standard doses. ctDNA can identify populations with particularly good prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2021.01.005DOI Listing
March 2021

Comprehensive cross-platform comparison of methods for non-invasive EGFR mutation testing: results of the RING observational trial.

Mol Oncol 2021 01 13;15(1):43-56. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Liquid Biopsy Laboratory, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Several platforms for noninvasive EGFR testing are currently used in the clinical setting with sensitivities ranging from 30% to 100%. Prospective studies evaluating agreement and sources for discordant results remain lacking. Herein, seven methodologies including two next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based methods, three high-sensitivity PCR-based platforms, and two FDA-approved methods were compared using 72 plasma samples, from EGFR-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients progressing on a first-line tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). NGS platforms as well as high-sensitivity PCR-based methodologies showed excellent agreement for EGFR-sensitizing mutations (K = 0.80-0.89) and substantial agreement for T790M testing (K = 0.77 and 0.68, respectively). Mutant allele frequencies (MAFs) obtained by different quantitative methods showed an excellent reproducibility (intraclass correlation coefficients 0.86-0.98). Among other technical factors, discordant calls mostly occurred at mutant allele frequencies (MAFs) ≤ 0.5%. Agreement significantly improved when discarding samples with MAF ≤ 0.5%. EGFR mutations were detected at significantly lower MAFs in patients with brain metastases, suggesting that these patients risk for a false-positive result. Our results support the use of liquid biopsies for noninvasive EGFR testing and highlight the need to systematically report MAFs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1878-0261.12832DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7782072PMC
January 2021

Breast Cancer Polygenic Risk Score and Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 11 5;107(5):837-848. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Hong Kong Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry, Hong Kong; Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, Department of Pathology, Happy Valley, Hong Kong.

Previous research has shown that polygenic risk scores (PRSs) can be used to stratify women according to their risk of developing primary invasive breast cancer. This study aimed to evaluate the association between a recently validated PRS of 313 germline variants (PRS) and contralateral breast cancer (CBC) risk. We included 56,068 women of European ancestry diagnosed with first invasive breast cancer from 1990 onward with follow-up from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Metachronous CBC risk (N = 1,027) according to the distribution of PRS was quantified using Cox regression analyses. We assessed PRS interaction with age at first diagnosis, family history, morphology, ER status, PR status, and HER2 status, and (neo)adjuvant therapy. In studies of Asian women, with limited follow-up, CBC risk associated with PRS was assessed using logistic regression for 340 women with CBC compared with 12,133 women with unilateral breast cancer. Higher PRS was associated with increased CBC risk: hazard ratio per standard deviation (SD) = 1.25 (95%CI = 1.18-1.33) for Europeans, and an OR per SD = 1.15 (95%CI = 1.02-1.29) for Asians. The absolute lifetime risks of CBC, accounting for death as competing risk, were 12.4% for European women at the 10 percentile and 20.5% at the 90 percentile of PRS. We found no evidence of confounding by or interaction with individual characteristics, characteristics of the primary tumor, or treatment. The C-index for the PRS alone was 0.563 (95%CI = 0.547-0.586). In conclusion, PRS is an independent factor associated with CBC risk and can be incorporated into CBC risk prediction models to help improve stratification and optimize surveillance and treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.09.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7675034PMC
November 2020

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy and nivolumab in resectable non-small-cell lung cancer (NADIM): an open-label, multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 11 24;21(11):1413-1422. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is terminal in most patients with locally advanced stage disease. We aimed to assess the antitumour activity and safety of neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy for resectable stage IIIA NSCLC.

Methods: This was an open-label, multicentre, single-arm phase 2 trial done at 18 hospitals in Spain. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older with histologically or cytologically documented treatment-naive American Joint Committee on Cancer-defined stage IIIA NSCLC that was deemed locally to be surgically resectable by a multidisciplinary clinical team, and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1. Patients received neoadjuvant treatment with intravenous paclitaxel (200 mg/m) and carboplatin (area under curve 6; 6 mg/mL per min) plus nivolumab (360 mg) on day 1 of each 21-day cycle, for three cycles before surgical resection, followed by adjuvant intravenous nivolumab monotherapy for 1 year (240 mg every 2 weeks for 4 months, followed by 480 mg every 4 weeks for 8 months). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival at 24 months, assessed in the modified intention-to-treat population, which included all patients who received neoadjuvant treatment, and in the per-protocol population, which included all patients who had tumour resection and received at least one cycle of adjuvant treatment. Safety was assessed in the modified intention-to-treat population. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03081689, and is ongoing but no longer recruiting patients.

Findings: Between April 26, 2017, and Aug 25, 2018, we screened 51 patients for eligibility, of whom 46 patients were enrolled and received neoadjuvant treatment. At the time of data cutoff (Jan 31, 2020), the median duration of follow-up was 24·0 months (IQR 21·4-28·1) and 35 of 41 patients who had tumour resection were progression free. At 24 months, progression-free survival was 77·1% (95% CI 59·9-87·7). 43 (93%) of 46 patients had treatment-related adverse events during neoadjuvant treatment, and 14 (30%) had treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or worse; however, none of the adverse events were associated with surgery delays or deaths. The most common grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events were increased lipase (three [7%]) and febrile neutropenia (three [7%]).

Interpretation: Our results support the addition of neoadjuvant nivolumab to platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with resectable stage IIIA NSCLC. Neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy could change the perception of locally advanced lung cancer as a potentially lethal disease to one that is curable.

Funding: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30453-8DOI Listing
November 2020

ctDNA analysis reveals different molecular patterns upon disease progression in patients treated with osimertinib.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2020 Jun;9(3):532-540

Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Several clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of osimertinib in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, there is significant unexplained variability in treatment outcome.

Methods: Observational prospective cohort of 22 pre-treated patients with stage IV NSCLC harboring the epidermal growth factor receptor () p.T790M resistance mutation and who were treated with osimertinib. Three hundred and twenty-six serial plasma samples were collected and analyzed by digital PCR (dPCR) and next-generation sequencing (NGS).

Results: The median progression-free survival (PFS), since the start of osimertinib, was 8.9 [interquartile range (IQR): 4.6-18.0] months. The median treatment durations of sequential gefitinib + osimertinib, afatinib + osimertinib and erlotinib + osimertinib treatments were 30.1, 24.6 and 21.1 months, respectively. The p.T790M mutation was detected in 19 (86%) pre-treatment blood samples. Undetectable levels of the original -sensitizing mutation after 3 months of treatment were associated with superior PFS (HR: 0.2, 95% CI: 0.05-0.7). Likewise, re-emergence of the original mutation, alone or together with the p.T790M mutation was significantly associated with shorter PFS (HR: 8.8, 95% CI: 1.1-70.7 and HR: 5.9, 95% CI: 1.2-27.9, respectively). Blood-based monitoring revealed three molecular patterns upon progression to osimertinib: sensitizing+/T790M+/C797S+, sensitizing+/T790M+/C797S-, and sensitizing+/T790M-/C797S-. Median time to progression in patients showing the triplet pattern (sensitizing+/T790M+/C797S+) was 12.27 months compared with 4.87 months in patients in whom only the original sensitizing was detected, and 2.17 months in patients showing the duplet pattern (sensitizing+/T790M+). Finally, we found that mutations in exon 545 of the gene were the most frequent alteration detected upon disease progression in patients without acquired -resistance mutations.

Conclusions: Different molecular patterns identified by plasma genotyping may be of prognostic significance, suggesting that the use of liquid biopsy is a valuable approach for tumor monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr.2020.04.01DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7354150PMC
June 2020

Germline HOXB13 mutations p.G84E and p.R217C do not confer an increased breast cancer risk.

Sci Rep 2020 06 16;10(1):9688. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

In breast cancer, high levels of homeobox protein Hox-B13 (HOXB13) have been associated with disease progression of ER-positive breast cancer patients and resistance to tamoxifen treatment. Since HOXB13 p.G84E is a prostate cancer risk allele, we evaluated the association between HOXB13 germline mutations and breast cancer risk in a previous study consisting of 3,270 familial non-BRCA1/2 breast cancer cases and 2,327 controls from the Netherlands. Although both recurrent HOXB13 mutations p.G84E and p.R217C were not associated with breast cancer risk, the risk estimation for p.R217C was not very precise. To provide more conclusive evidence regarding the role of HOXB13 in breast cancer susceptibility, we here evaluated the association between HOXB13 mutations and increased breast cancer risk within 81 studies of the international Breast Cancer Association Consortium containing 68,521 invasive breast cancer patients and 54,865 controls. Both HOXB13 p.G84E and p.R217C did not associate with the development of breast cancer in European women, neither in the overall analysis (OR = 1.035, 95% CI = 0.859-1.246, P = 0.718 and OR = 0.798, 95% CI = 0.482-1.322, P = 0.381 respectively), nor in specific high-risk subgroups or breast cancer subtypes. Thus, although involved in breast cancer progression, HOXB13 is not a material breast cancer susceptibility gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-65665-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7297796PMC
June 2020

Sex is a strong prognostic factor in stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer patients and should be considered in survival rate estimation.

Cancer Epidemiol 2020 08 22;67:101737. Epub 2020 May 22.

Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: Biological differences between the sexes have a major impact on disease and treatment outcome. In this paper, we evaluate the prognostic value of sex in stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the context of routine clinical data, and compare this information with other external datasets.

Methods: Clinical data from stage IV NSCLC patients from Hospital Puerta de Hierro (HPH) were retrieved from electronic health records using big data analytics (N = 397). In addition, data from the Spanish Lung Cancer Group (GECP) Tumor Registry (N = 1382) and from a published study available from the cBioPortal (MSK) (N = 601) were analyzed. Survival curves were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to assess the prognostic value of sex. A meta-analysis to compare the outcome for males and females in terms of overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) was performed.

Results: The median OS time was 12 months for males and 19 months for females (overall HR = 0.77; 95% CI: 0.68-0.87; P < 0.001). Similarly, females with stage IV NSCLC harboring an EGFR-sensitizing mutation lived significantly longer than males (median OS: males, 19 months; females, 32 months) with a lower risk of death compared with males (overall HR = 0.75; 95% CI: 0.67-0.84). In addition, female patients benefited more from EGFR inhibitors in terms of PFS and OS (overall HR = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.32-0.64, and HR = 0.62; 95% CI: 0.48-0.80, respectively). Median PFS was 21 months in females and 12 months in males (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Using routine clinical data we confirmed the previous finding that among stage IV NSCLC patients, females had a significantly better prognosis than males. The effect size of the sex was notable, highlighting the fact that survival rates are usually estimated and patients are generally managed without considering the sexes separately, which may lead to suboptimal results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2020.101737DOI Listing
August 2020

Genome-wide association study identifies 32 novel breast cancer susceptibility loci from overall and subtype-specific analyses.

Nat Genet 2020 06 18;52(6):572-581. Epub 2020 May 18.

Molecular Medicine Unit, Fundación Pública Galega de Medicina Xenómica, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Breast cancer susceptibility variants frequently show heterogeneity in associations by tumor subtype. To identify novel loci, we performed a genome-wide association study including 133,384 breast cancer cases and 113,789 controls, plus 18,908 BRCA1 mutation carriers (9,414 with breast cancer) of European ancestry, using both standard and novel methodologies that account for underlying tumor heterogeneity by estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status and tumor grade. We identified 32 novel susceptibility loci (P < 5.0 × 10), 15 of which showed evidence for associations with at least one tumor feature (false discovery rate < 0.05). Five loci showed associations (P < 0.05) in opposite directions between luminal and non-luminal subtypes. In silico analyses showed that these five loci contained cell-specific enhancers that differed between normal luminal and basal mammary cells. The genetic correlations between five intrinsic-like subtypes ranged from 0.35 to 0.80. The proportion of genome-wide chip heritability explained by all known susceptibility loci was 54.2% for luminal A-like disease and 37.6% for triple-negative disease. The odds ratios of polygenic risk scores, which included 330 variants, for the highest 1% of quantiles compared with middle quantiles were 5.63 and 3.02 for luminal A-like and triple-negative disease, respectively. These findings provide an improved understanding of genetic predisposition to breast cancer subtypes and will inform the development of subtype-specific polygenic risk scores.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0609-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7808397PMC
June 2020

Next-generation sequencing to dynamically detect mechanisms of resistance to inhibitors in -positive NSCLC patients: a case report.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2020 Apr;9(2):366-372

Molecular Oncology Laboratory, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda University Hospital, Madrid, Spain.

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene () have significantly improved the quality of life and survival of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients whose tumors harbor an translocation. However, most of these patients relapse within 2 to 3 years as the tumor acquires resistance mutations. Unlike beaming and digital PCR (dPCR), which only allow a few mutations to be analyzed, next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches enable the simultaneous screening of multiple genetic alterations even when the frequencies of the variants are very low. We present the case of a 52-year-old man who was diagnosed with an -positive NSCLC and was treated with crizotinib and, subsequently, ceritinib. The analysis of serial liquid biopsies by NGS detected two asynchronous mutations arising in the locus during disease progression, namely p.Gly1269Ala (c.3806G>C) and p.Gly1202Arg (c.3604G>A), that conferred resistance to crizotinib and ceritinib, respectively. The resistance mutations were detected independently at different times, and could be imputed to different metastatic lesions, thereby highlighting the importance of heterogeneity in advance disease. Plasma levels of resistance mutations correlated well with tumor responses assessed by CT scans and bone scintigraphy, demonstrating that non-invasive tumor molecular profiling by NGS allows the efficient dynamic monitoring of -positive NSCLC patients, and outperforms dPCR and beaming because more somatic mutations can be tracked over the course of the treatment. In conclusion, this case report illustrates the usefulness NGS to guide therapeutic decisions in -positive NSCLC patients based tumor molecular profile upon disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr.2020.02.07DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7225153PMC
April 2020

Transcriptome-wide association study of breast cancer risk by estrogen-receptor status.

Genet Epidemiol 2020 07 1;44(5):442-468. Epub 2020 Mar 1.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Previous transcriptome-wide association studies (TWAS) have identified breast cancer risk genes by integrating data from expression quantitative loci and genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but analyses of breast cancer subtype-specific associations have been limited. In this study, we conducted a TWAS using gene expression data from GTEx and summary statistics from the hitherto largest GWAS meta-analysis conducted for breast cancer overall, and by estrogen receptor subtypes (ER+ and ER-). We further compared associations with ER+ and ER- subtypes, using a case-only TWAS approach. We also conducted multigene conditional analyses in regions with multiple TWAS associations. Two genes, STXBP4 and HIST2H2BA, were specifically associated with ER+ but not with ER- breast cancer. We further identified 30 TWAS-significant genes associated with overall breast cancer risk, including four that were not identified in previous studies. Conditional analyses identified single independent breast-cancer gene in three of six regions harboring multiple TWAS-significant genes. Our study provides new information on breast cancer genetics and biology, particularly about genomic differences between ER+ and ER- breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987299PMC
July 2020

A network analysis to identify mediators of germline-driven differences in breast cancer prognosis.

Nat Commun 2020 01 16;11(1):312. Epub 2020 Jan 16.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Identifying the underlying genetic drivers of the heritability of breast cancer prognosis remains elusive. We adapt a network-based approach to handle underpowered complex datasets to provide new insights into the potential function of germline variants in breast cancer prognosis. This network-based analysis studies ~7.3 million variants in 84,457 breast cancer patients in relation to breast cancer survival and confirms the results on 12,381 independent patients. Aggregating the prognostic effects of genetic variants across multiple genes, we identify four gene modules associated with survival in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative and one in ER-positive disease. The modules show biological enrichment for cancer-related processes such as G-alpha signaling, circadian clock, angiogenesis, and Rho-GTPases in apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-14100-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6965101PMC
January 2020

Fine-mapping of 150 breast cancer risk regions identifies 191 likely target genes.

Nat Genet 2020 01 7;52(1):56-73. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Unit of Medical Genetics, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Genome-wide association studies have identified breast cancer risk variants in over 150 genomic regions, but the mechanisms underlying risk remain largely unknown. These regions were explored by combining association analysis with in silico genomic feature annotations. We defined 205 independent risk-associated signals with the set of credible causal variants in each one. In parallel, we used a Bayesian approach (PAINTOR) that combines genetic association, linkage disequilibrium and enriched genomic features to determine variants with high posterior probabilities of being causal. Potentially causal variants were significantly over-represented in active gene regulatory regions and transcription factor binding sites. We applied our INQUSIT pipeline for prioritizing genes as targets of those potentially causal variants, using gene expression (expression quantitative trait loci), chromatin interaction and functional annotations. Known cancer drivers, transcription factors and genes in the developmental, apoptosis, immune system and DNA integrity checkpoint gene ontology pathways were over-represented among the highest-confidence target genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0537-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6974400PMC
January 2020

The :p.Arg658* truncating variant is associated with risk of triple-negative breast cancer.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2019 1;5:38. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

25University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Breast Medical Oncology, Houston, TX USA.

Breast cancer is a common disease partially caused by genetic risk factors. Germline pathogenic variants in DNA repair genes , , , , and are associated with breast cancer risk. , which encodes for a DNA translocase, has been proposed as a breast cancer predisposition gene, with greater effects for the ER-negative and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtypes. We tested the three recurrent protein-truncating variants :p.Arg658*, p.Gln1701*, and p.Arg1931* for association with breast cancer risk in 67,112 cases, 53,766 controls, and 26,662 carriers of pathogenic variants of or . These three variants were also studied functionally by measuring survival and chromosome fragility in patient-derived immortalized fibroblasts treated with diepoxybutane or olaparib. We observed that :p.Arg658* was associated with increased risk of ER-negative disease and TNBC (OR = 2.44,  = 0.034 and OR = 3.79;  = 0.009, respectively). In a country-restricted analysis, we confirmed the associations detected for :p.Arg658* and found that also :p.Arg1931* was associated with ER-negative breast cancer risk (OR = 1.96;  = 0.006). The functional results indicated that all three variants were deleterious affecting cell survival and chromosome stability with :p.Arg658* causing more severe phenotypes. In conclusion, we confirmed that the two rare deleterious variants p.Arg658* and p.Arg1931* are risk factors for ER-negative and TNBC subtypes. Overall our data suggest that the effect of truncating variants on breast cancer risk may depend on their position in the gene. Cell sensitivity to olaparib exposure, identifies a possible therapeutic option to treat -associated tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41523-019-0127-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6825205PMC
November 2019

Next-generation sequencing for tumor mutation quantification using liquid biopsies.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2020 01;58(2):306-313

Molecular Oncology Laboratory, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Background Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients benefit from targeted therapies both in first- and second-line treatment. Nevertheless, molecular profiling of lung cancer tumors after first disease progression is seldom performed. The analysis of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) enables not only non-invasive biomarker testing but also monitoring tumor response to treatment. Digital PCR (dPCR), although a robust approach, only enables the analysis of a limited number of mutations. Next-generation sequencing (NGS), on the other hand, enables the analysis of significantly greater numbers of mutations. Methods A total of 54 circulating free DNA (cfDNA) samples from 52 NSCLC patients and two healthy donors were analyzed by NGS using the Oncomine™ Lung cfDNA Assay kit and dPCR. Results Lin's concordance correlation coefficient and Pearson's correlation coefficient between mutant allele frequencies (MAFs) assessed by NGS and dPCR revealed a positive and linear relationship between the two data sets (ρc = 0.986; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.975-0.991; r = 0.987; p < 0.0001, respectively), indicating an excellent concordance between both measurements. Similarly, the agreement between NGS and dPCR for the detection of the resistance mutation p.T790M was almost perfect (K = 0.81; 95% CI = 0.62-0.99), with an excellent correlation in terms of MAFs (ρc = 0.991; 95% CI = 0.981-0.992 and Pearson's r = 0.998; p < 0.0001). Importantly, cfDNA sequencing was successful using as low as 10 ng cfDNA input. Conclusions MAFs assessed by NGS were highly correlated with MAFs assessed by dPCR, demonstrating that NGS is a robust technique for ctDNA quantification using clinical samples, thereby allowing for dynamic genomic surveillance in the era of precision medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2019-0745DOI Listing
January 2020

Two truncating variants in FANCC and breast cancer risk.

Sci Rep 2019 08 29;9(1):12524. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Westmead Institute for Medical Research, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder with 22 disease-causing genes reported to date. In some FA genes, monoallelic mutations have been found to be associated with breast cancer risk, while the risk associations of others remain unknown. The gene for FA type C, FANCC, has been proposed as a breast cancer susceptibility gene based on epidemiological and sequencing studies. We used the Oncoarray project to genotype two truncating FANCC variants (p.R185X and p.R548X) in 64,760 breast cancer cases and 49,793 controls of European descent. FANCC mutations were observed in 25 cases (14 with p.R185X, 11 with p.R548X) and 26 controls (18 with p.R185X, 8 with p.R548X). There was no evidence of an association with the risk of breast cancer, neither overall (odds ratio 0.77, 95%CI 0.44-1.33, p = 0.4) nor by histology, hormone receptor status, age or family history. We conclude that the breast cancer risk association of these two FANCC variants, if any, is much smaller than for BRCA1, BRCA2 or PALB2 mutations. If this applies to all truncating variants in FANCC it would suggest there are differences between FA genes in their roles on breast cancer risk and demonstrates the merit of large consortia for clarifying risk associations of rare variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48804-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6715680PMC
August 2019

Cisplatin resistance involves a metabolic reprogramming through ROS and PGC-1α in NSCLC which can be overcome by OXPHOS inhibition.

Free Radic Biol Med 2019 05 14;135:167-181. Epub 2019 Mar 14.

Servicio de Oncología Médica, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Puerta de Hierro-Segovia de Arana (IDIPHISA), Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: Platinum-based chemotherapy remains the standard of care for most lung cancer cases. However chemoresistance is often developed during the treatment, limiting clinical utility of this drug. Recently, the ability of tumor cells to adapt their metabolism has been associated to resistance to therapies. In this study, we first described the metabolic reprogramming of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) in response to cisplatin treatment.

Methods: Cisplatin-resistant versions of the A549, H1299, and H460 cell lines were generated by continuous drug exposure. The long-term metabolic changes, as well as, the early response to cisplatin treatment were analyzed in both, parental and cisplatin-resistant cell lines. In addition, four Patient-derived xenograft models treated with cisplatin along with paired pre- and post-treatment biopsies from patients were studied. Furthermore, metabolic targeting of these changes in cell lines was performed downregulating PGC-1α expression through siRNA or using OXPHOS inhibitors (metformin and rotenone).

Results: Two out of three cisplatin-resistant cell lines showed a stable increase in mitochondrial function, PGC1-α and mitochondrial mass with reduced glycolisis, that did not affect the cell cycle. This phenomenon was confirmed in vivo. Post-treatment NSCLC tumors showed an increase in mitochondrial mass, PGC-1α, and a decrease in the GAPDH/MT-CO1 ratio. In addition, we demonstrated how a ROS-mediated metabolism reprogramming, involving PGC-1α and increased mitochondrial mass, is induced during short-time cisplatin exposure. Moreover, we tested how cells with increased PGC-1a induced by ZLN005 treatment, showed reduced cisplatin-driven apoptosis. Remarkably, the long-term metabolic changes, as well as the metabolic reprogramming during short-time cisplatin exposure can be exploited as an Achilles' heel of NSCLC cells, as demonstrated by the increased sensitivity to PGC-1α interference or OXPHOS inhibition using metformin or rotenone.

Conclusion: These results describe a new cisplatin resistance mechanism in NSCLC based on a metabolic reprogramming that is therapeutically exploitable through PGC-1α downregulation or OXPHOS inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2019.03.009DOI Listing
May 2019
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