Publications by authors named "P Galván"

92 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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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.esmoop.2021.100102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8038941PMC
April 2021

RANK signaling increases after anti-HER2 therapy contributing to the emergence of resistance in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Res 2021 Mar 30;23(1):42. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Oncobell, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Around 15-20% of primary breast cancers are characterized by HER2 protein overexpression and/or HER2 gene amplification. Despite the successful development of anti-HER2 drugs, intrinsic and acquired resistance represents a major hurdle. This study was performed to analyze the RANK pathway contribution in HER2-positive breast cancer and anti-HER2 therapy resistance.

Methods: RANK and RANKL protein expression was assessed in samples from HER2-positive breast cancer patients resistant to anti-HER2 therapy and treatment-naive patients. RANK and RANKL gene expression was analyzed in paired samples from patients treated with neoadjuvant dual HER2-blockade (lapatinib and trastuzumab) from the SOLTI-1114 PAMELA trial. Additionally, HER2-positive breast cancer cell lines were used to modulate RANK expression and analyze in vitro the contribution of RANK signaling to anti-HER2 resistance and downstream signaling.

Results: RANK and RANKL proteins are more frequently detected in HER2-positive tumors that have acquired resistance to anti-HER2 therapies than in treatment-naive ones. RANK (but not RANKL) gene expression increased after dual anti-HER2 neoadjuvant therapy in the cohort from the SOLTI-1114 PAMELA trial. Results in HER2-positive breast cancer cell lines recapitulate the clinical observations, with increased RANK expression observed after short-term treatment with the HER2 inhibitor lapatinib or dual anti-HER2 therapy and in lapatinib-resistant cells. After RANKL stimulation, lapatinib-resistant cells show increased NF-κB activation compared to their sensitive counterparts, confirming the enhanced functionality of the RANK pathway in anti-HER2-resistant breast cancer. Overactivation of the RANK signaling pathway enhances ERK and NF-κB signaling and increases lapatinib resistance in different HER2-positive breast cancer cell lines, whereas RANK loss sensitizes lapatinib-resistant cells to the drug. Our results indicate that ErbB signaling is required for RANK/RANKL-driven activation of ERK in several HER2-positive cell lines. In contrast, lapatinib is not able to counteract the NF-κB activation elicited after RANKL treatment in RANK-overexpressing cells. Finally, we show that RANK binds to HER2 in breast cancer cells and that enhanced RANK pathway activation alters HER2 phosphorylation status.

Conclusions: Our data support a physical and functional link between RANK and HER2 signaling in breast cancer and demonstrate that increased RANK signaling may contribute to the development of lapatinib resistance through NF-κB activation. Whether HER2-positive breast cancer patients with tumoral RANK expression might benefit from dual HER2 and RANK inhibition therapy remains to be elucidated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-021-01390-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8008631PMC
March 2021

Immune analysis of lymph nodes in relation to the presence or absence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in triple-negative breast cancer.

Eur J Cancer 2021 May 17;148:134-145. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Vall D'Hebrón Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain; IOB Institute of Oncology, Quironsalud Group, Barcelona, Spain; IOB Institute of Oncology, Quironsalud Group, Madrid, Spain; Medica Scientia Innovation Research (MedSIR), Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast cancer with unmet medical needs. Several studies have proved that high levels of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) at diagnosis of TNBC confer better prognosis and patients respond better to specific chemotherapies. Nonetheless, current evidence suggests that only 15% of TNBC patients have very high levels of TILs, and another 15% lacks TILs. One possible reason to explain why patients have low TILs at diagnosis is that lymphocytes might be deactivated by an immune checkpoint in local lymph nodes, provoking their retention in there as they are unresponsive to other immune stimuli. We have identified 15 high TILs (≥50%) and 20 low TILs (≤5%) TNBC patients with localised tumour (T1c-T2N0M0) and compared the protein expression of five immune checkpoints in lymph nodes. We have also performed a customised 50-immune gene NanoString expression panel, the NanoString 360 Breast Cancer panel, and whole exome sequencing for mutation and neoantigen load analyses. In low TILs, we observed higher expression of CTLA-4 in local lymph nodes, which could explain why lymphocytes get retained in there and do not migrate to tumour. These patients have also higher neoantigen load and higher expression of B7.H3 and B7.H4 in the tumour. In high TILs, we observed more PD-L1+ tumour cells and more expanded humoral response. These results could provide a strategy to revert low tumour immune infiltration at diagnosis of TNBC, improving their prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.01.037DOI Listing
May 2021

Immune microenvironment characterisation and dynamics during anti-HER2-based neoadjuvant treatment in HER2-positive breast cancer.

NPJ Precis Oncol 2021 Mar 19;5(1):23. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Molecular oncology group, Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain.

Despite their recognised role in HER2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer (BC), the composition, localisation and functional orientation of immune cells within tumour microenvironment, as well as its dynamics during anti-HER2 treatment, is largely unknown. We here investigate changes in tumour-immune contexture, as assessed by stromal tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (sTILs) and by multiplexed spatial cellular phenotyping, during treatment with lapatinib-trastuzumab in HER2+ BC patients (PAMELA trial). Moreover, we evaluate the relationship of tumour-immune contexture with hormone receptor status, intrinsic subtype and immune-related gene expression. sTIL levels increase after 2 weeks of HER2 blockade in HR-negative disease and HER2-enriched subtype. This is linked to a concomitant increase in cell density of all four immune subpopulations (CD3, CD4, CD8, Foxp3). Moreover, immune contexture analysis showed that immune cells spatially interacting with tumour cells have the strongest association with response to anti-HER2 treatment. Subsequently, sTILs consistently decrease at the surgery in patients achieving pathologic complete response, whereas most residual tumours at surgery remain inflamed, possibly reflecting a progressive loss of function of T cells. Understanding the features of the resulting tumour immunosuppressive microenvironment has crucial implications for the design of new strategies to de-escalate or escalate systemic therapy in early-stage HER2+ BC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41698-021-00163-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7979716PMC
March 2021

Independent Validation of the PAM50-Based Chemo-Endocrine Score (CES) in Hormone Receptor-Positive HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Treated with Neoadjuvant Anti-HER2-Based Therapy.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Feb 25. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

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

Background: We do not yet have validated biomarkers to predict response and outcome within hormone receptor-positive/HER2-positive (HR+/HER2+) breast cancer. The PAM50-based chemo-endocrine score (CES) predicts chemo-endocrine sensitivity in hormone receptor-positive/HER2-negative (HR+/HER2-) breast cancer. Here, we evaluate the relationship of CES with response and survival in HR+/HER2+ breast cancer.

Methods: Intrinsic subtype and clinicopathologic data were obtained from seven studies in which patients were treated with HER2-targeted therapy either with endocrine therapy (ET) or with chemotherapy (CTX). CES was evaluated as a continuous variable and categorically from low to high scores [CES-C (chemo-sensitive), CES-U (uncertain), and CES-E (endocrine-sensitive)]. We first analyzed each dataset individually, and then all combined. Multivariable analyses were used to test CES association with pathologic complete response (pCR) and disease-free survival (DFS).

Results: A total of 457 patients were included (112 with ET and 345 with CTX). In the combined cohort, CES-C, CES-U, and CES-E were identified in 60%, 23%, and 17% of the patients, respectively. High CES (i.e., CES-E) was associated with a lower probability of achieving pCR independently of clinical characteristics, therapy, intrinsic subtype, and study (adjusted OR = 0.42; = 0.016). A total of 295 patients were analyzed for DFS with a median follow-up of 66 months. High CES was also associated with better DFS (adjusted HR, 0.174; = 0.003) independently of pCR, clinical characteristics and intrinsic subtype. In patients with residual disease, the adjusted DFS HR of CES was 0.160 ( = 0.012).

Conclusions: In HER2+/HR+ breast cancer, CES is useful for predicting chemo-endocrine sensitivity and provides additional prognostication beyond intrinsic subtype and clinicopathologic characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-4102DOI Listing
February 2021