Publications by authors named "F Brasó-Maristany"

18 Publications

Identification of cell surface targets for CAR-T cell therapies and antibody-drug conjugates in breast cancer.

ESMO Open 2021 Apr 7;6(3):100102. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Hematology, Hospital Clinic, August Pi I Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: Two promising therapeutic strategies in oncology are chimeric antigen receptor-T cell (CAR-T) therapies and antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). To be effective and safe, these immunotherapies require surface antigens to be sufficiently expressed in tumors and less or not expressed in normal tissues. To identify new targets for ADCs and CAR-T specifically targeting breast cancer (BC) molecular and pathology-based subtypes, we propose a novel in silico strategy based on multiple publicly available datasets and provide a comprehensive explanation of the workflow for a further implementation.

Methods: We carried out differential gene expression analyses on The Cancer Genome Atlas BC RNA-sequencing data to identify BC subtype-specific upregulated genes. To fully explain the proposed target-discovering methodology, as proof of concept, we selected the 200 most upregulated genes for each subtype and undertook a comprehensive analysis of their protein expression in BC and normal tissues through several publicly available databases to identify the potentially safest and viable targets.

Results: We identified 36 potentially suitable and subtype-specific tumor surface antigens (TSAs), including fibroblast growth factor receptor-4 (FGFR4), carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 6 (CEACAM6), GDNF family receptor alpha 1 (GFRA1), integrin beta-6 (ITGB6) and ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1 (ENPP1). We also identified 63 potential TSA pairs that might be appropriate for co-targeting strategies. Finally, we validated subtype specificity in a cohort of our patients, multiple BC cell lines and the METABRIC database.

Conclusions: Overall, our in silico analysis provides a framework to identify novel and specific TSAs for the development of new CAR-T and antibody-based therapies in BC.
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April 2021

Correlative Biomarker Analysis of Intrinsic Subtypes and Efficacy Across the MONALEESA Phase III Studies.

J Clin Oncol 2021 May 26;39(13):1458-1467. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ.

Purpose: The prognostic and predictive value of intrinsic subtypes in hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative advanced breast cancer treated with endocrine therapy and ribociclib (RIB) is currently unknown. We evaluated the association of intrinsic subtypes with progression-free survival (PFS) in the MONALEESA trials.

Methods: A retrospective and exploratory PAM50-based analysis of tumor samples from the phase III MONALEESA-2, MONALEESA-3, and MONALEESA-7 trials was undertaken. The prognostic relationship of PAM50-based subtypes with PFS and risk of disease progression by subtype and treatment were evaluated using a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model, adjusting for age, prior chemotherapy, performance status, visceral disease, bone-only metastases, histological grade, number of metastatic sites, prior endocrine therapy, and de novo metastatic disease.

Results: Overall, 1,160 tumors from the RIB (n = 672) and placebo (n = 488) cohorts were robustly profiled. Subtype distribution was luminal A (LumA), 46.7%; luminal B (LumB), 24.0%; normal-like, 14.0%; HER2-enriched (HER2E), 12.7%; and basal-like, 2.6% and was generally consistent across treatment arms and trials. The associations between subtypes and PFS were statistically significant in both arms ( < .001). The risks of disease progression for LumB, HER2E, and basal-like subtypes were 1.44, 2.31, and 3.96 times higher compared with those for LumA, respectively. All subtypes except basal-like demonstrated significant PFS benefit with RIB. HER2E (hazard ratio [HR], 0.39; < .0001), LumB (HR, 0.52; < .0001), LumA (HR, 0.63; = .0007), and normal-like (HR, 0.47; = .0005) subtypes derived benefit from RIB. Patients with basal-like subtype (n = 30) did not derive benefit from RIB (HR, 1.15; = .77).

Conclusion: In this retrospective exploratory analysis of hormone receptor-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative advanced breast cancer, each intrinsic subtype exhibited a consistent PFS benefit with RIB, except for basal-like.
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May 2021

Circulating tumor DNA dynamics in advanced breast cancer treated with CDK4/6 inhibition and endocrine therapy.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2021 Feb 3;7(1). Epub 2021 Feb 3.

SOLTI Cancer Research Group, Barcelona, Spain.

Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) levels may predict response to anticancer drugs, including CDK4/6 inhibitors and endocrine therapy combinations (CDK4/6i+ET); however, critical questions remain unanswered such as which assay or statistical method to use. Here, we obtained paired plasma samples at baseline and week 4 in 45 consecutive patients with advanced breast cancer treated with CDK4/6i+ET. ctDNA was detected in 96% of cases using the 74-gene Guardant360 assay. A variant allele fraction ratio (VAFR) was calculated for each of the 79 detected mutations between both timepoints. Mean of all VAFRs (mVAFR) was computed for each patient. In our dataset, mVAFR was significantly associated with progression-free survival (PFS). Baseline VAF, on-treatment VAF or absolute changes in VAF were not associated with PFS, nor were CA-15.3 levels at baseline, week 4 or the CA-15.3 ratio. These findings demonstrate that ctDNA dynamics using a standardized multi-gene panel and a unique methodological approach predicts treatment outcome. Clinical trials in patients with an unfavorable ctDNA response are needed.
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February 2021

Clinical, pathological, and PAM50 gene expression features of HER2-low breast cancer.

NPJ Breast Cancer 2021 Jan 4;7(1). Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Translational Genomics and Targeted Therapeutics in Solid Tumors, August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain.

Novel antibody-drug conjugates against HER2 are showing high activity in HER2-negative breast cancer (BC) with low HER2 expression (i.e., 1+ or 2+ and lack of ERBB2 amplification). However, the clinical and molecular features of HER2-low BC are yet to be elucidated. Here, we collected retrospective clinicopathological and PAM50 data from 3,689 patients with HER2-negative disease and made the following observations. First, the proportion of HER2-low was higher in HR-positive disease (65.4%) than triple-negative BC (TNBC, 36.6%). Second, within HR-positive disease, ERBB2 and luminal-related genes were more expressed in HER2-low than HER2 0. In contrast, no gene was found differentially expressed in TNBC according to HER2 expression. Third, within HER2-low, ERBB2 levels were higher in HR-positive disease than TNBC. Fourth, HER2-low was not associated with overall survival in HR-positive disease and TNBC. Finally, the reproducibility of HER2-low among pathologists was suboptimal. This study emphasizes the large biological heterogeneity of HER2-low BC, and the need to implement reproducible and sensitive assays to measure low HER2 expression.
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January 2021

A multivariable prognostic score to guide systemic therapy in early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer: a retrospective study with an external evaluation.

Lancet Oncol 2020 11;21(11):1455-1464

SOLTI Breast Cancer Research Group, Barcelona, Spain; Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.

Background: In early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer, escalation or de-escalation of systemic therapy is a controversial topic. As an aid to treatment decisions, we aimed to develop a prognostic assay that integrates multiple data types for predicting survival outcome in patients with newly diagnosed HER2-positive breast cancer.

Methods: We derived a combined prognostic model using retrospective clinical-pathological data on stromal tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes, PAM50 subtypes, and expression of 55 genes obtained from patients who participated in the Short-HER phase 3 trial. The trial enrolled patients with newly diagnosed, node-positive, HER2-positive breast cancer or, if node negative, with at least one risk factor (ie, tumour size >2 cm, histological grade 3, lymphovascular invasion, Ki67 >20%, age ≤35 years, or hormone receptor negativity), and randomly assigned them to adjuvant anthracycline plus taxane-based combinations with either 9 weeks or 1 year of trastuzumab. Trastuzumab was administered intravenously every 3 weeks (8 mg/kg loading dose at first cycle, and 6 mg/kg thereafter) for 18 doses or weekly (4 mg/kg loading dose in the first week, and 2 mg/kg thereafter) for 9 weeks, starting concomitantly with the first taxane dose. Median follow-up was 91·4 months (IQR 75·1-105·6). The primary objective of our study was to derive and evaluate a combined prognostic score associated with distant metastasis-free survival (the time between randomisation and distant recurrence or death before recurrence), an exploratory endpoint in Short-HER. Patient samples in the training dataset were split into a training set (n=290) and a testing set (n=145), balancing for event and treatment group. The training set was further stratified into 100 iterations of Monte-Carlo cross validation (MCCV). Cox proportional hazard models were fit to MCCV training samples using Elastic-Net. A maximum of 92 features were assessed. The final prognostic model was evaluated in an independent combined dataset of 267 patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer treated with different neoadjuvant and adjuvant anti-HER2-based combinations and from four other studies (PAMELA, CHER-LOB, Hospital Clinic, and Padova) with disease-free survival outcome data.

Findings: From Short-HER, data from 435 (35%) of 1254 patients for tumour size (T1 vs rest), nodal status (N0 vs rest), number of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (continuous variable), subtype (HER2-enriched and basal-like vs rest), and 13 genes composed the final model (named HER2DX). HER2DX was significantly associated with distant metastasis-free survival as a continuous variable (p<0·0001). HER2DX median score for quartiles 1-2 was identified as the cutoff to identify low-risk patients; and the score that distinguished quartile 3 from quartile 4 was the cutoff to distinguish medium-risk and high-risk populations. The 5-year distant metastasis-free survival of the low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk populations were 98·1% (95% CI 96·3-99·9), 88·9% (83·2-95·0), and 73·9% (66·0-82·7), respectively (low-risk vs high-risk hazard ratio [HR] 0·04, 95% CI 0·0-0·1, p<0·0001). In the evaluation cohort, HER2DX was significantly associated with disease-free survival as a continuous variable (HR 2·77, 95% CI 1·4-5·6, p=0·0040) and as group categories (low-risk vs high-risk HR 0·27, 0·1-0·7, p=0·005). 5-year disease-free survival in the HER2DX low-risk group was 93·5% (89·0-98·3%) and in the high-risk group was 81·1% (71·5-92·1).

Interpretation: The HER2DX combined prognostic score identifies patients with early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer who might be candidates for escalated or de-escalated systemic treatment. Future clinical validation of HER2DX seems warranted to establish its use in different scenarios, especially in the neoadjuvant setting.

Funding: Instituto Salud Carlos III, Save the Mama, Pas a Pas, Fundación Científica, Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer, Fundación SEOM, National Institutes of Health, Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco, International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the Veneto Institute of Oncology, and Italian Association for Cancer Research.
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November 2020