Publications by authors named "Peter A Fasching"

541 Publications

Comparison of methods for isolation and quantification of circulating cell-free DNA from patients with endometriosis.

Reprod Biomed Online 2021 Aug 11. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Erlangen University Hospital, University Endometriosis Center for Franconia, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Research Question: Which is the optimal extraction method for isolating and quantifying circulating cell-free DNA (ccfDNA) from patients with endometriosis? Endometriosis is a common benign disease, associated with pain, infertility and reduced quality of life. Endometriosis is also a known risk factor for various cancers. Robust biomarkers for early detection and prediction of prognosis, however, are lacking. CcfDNA is an easy to obtain biomarker associated with prognosis of cancer patients and enables non-invasive analysis of somatic mutations. Recently, elevated levels of ccfDNA were detected in patients with endometriosis.

Design: Two different ccfDNA extraction methods were compared: Maxwell RSC ccfDNA plasma kit (Maxwell) and QiAamp minElute ccfDNA mini kit (QIAamp). The ccfDNA and circulating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) quantities from 34 patients diagnosed with endometriosis were analysed. Fluorometric measurement and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) of short and long ALU and mtDNA fragments were used to quantiy ccfDNA.

Results: The yield of ccfDNA isolated with the Maxwell method was significantly higher compared with the QIAamp method (P < 0.0001). Integrity of ccfDNA was significantly higher in the QIAamp isolate (P < 0.0001). Recovered mtDNA was not significantly different between both extraction methods used.

Conclusions: The choice of extraction method can significantly influence the ccfDNA output and integrity. Both methods, however, enabled isolation of sufficient ccfDNA for further downstream applications. With this approach, isolation of ccfDNA could enable the non-invasive detection and analysis of somatic mutation within endometriosis tissue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2021.08.004DOI Listing
August 2021

Comprehensive characterization of endometriosis patients and disease patterns in a large clinical cohort.

Arch Gynecol Obstet 2021 Aug 26. Epub 2021 Aug 26.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Endometriosis Center for Franconia, Erlangen University Hospital, Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Universitätsstrasse 21-23, 91054, Erlangen, Germany.

Purpose: In many diseases, it is possible to classify a heterogeneous group into subgroups relative to tumor biology, genetic variations, or clinical and pathological features. No such classification is available for endometriosis. In our retrospective case-case analysis we defined subgroups of endometriosis patients relative to the type and location of the endometriosis lesion and relative to basic patient characteristics.

Methods: From June 2013 to July 2017, a total of 1576 patients with endometriosis diagnosed at surgery were included in this study. The patients' history and clinical data were documented using a web-based remote data entry system. To build subgroups, all possible combinations of endometriosis locations/types (peritoneal; ovarian endometriosis; deeply infiltrating endometriosis; adenomyosis) were used. Due to the variation in group sizes, they were combined into five substantial larger groups.

Results: Age, pregnancy rate, and live birth rate were identified as characteristics that significantly differed between the five patient groups that were defined. No significant differences were noted in relation to body mass index, length of menstrual cycle, age at menarche, reason for presentation, or educational level.

Conclusion: This study describes basic patient characteristics in relation to common clinical subgroups in a large clinical cohort of endometriosis patients. Epidemiological information about different clinical groups may be helpful in identifying groups with specific clinical courses, potentially suggesting novel approaches to early detection and to surgical and systemic treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00404-021-06200-wDOI 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

TGFB-induced factor homeobox 1 (TGIF) expression in breast cancer.

BMC Cancer 2021 Aug 14;21(1):920. Epub 2021 Aug 14.

Department of Gynecology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the most frequent female cancer and preferentially metastasizes to bone. The transcription factor TGFB-induced factor homeobox 1 (TGIF) is involved in bone metabolism. However, it is not yet known whether TGIF is associated with BC bone metastasis or patient outcome and thus of potential interest.

Methods: TGIF expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in 1197 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples from BC patients treated in the GAIN (German Adjuvant Intergroup Node-Positive) study with two adjuvant dose-dense schedules of chemotherapy with or without bisphosphonate ibandronate. TGIF expression was categorized into negative/low and moderate/strong staining. Endpoints were disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS) and time to primary bone metastasis as first site of relapse (TTPBM).

Results: We found associations of higher TGIF protein expression with smaller tumor size (p = 0.015), well differentiated phenotype (p < 0.001) and estrogen receptor (ER)-positive BC (p < 0.001). Patients with higher TGIF expression levels showed a significantly longer disease-free (DFS: HR 0.75 [95%CI 0.59-0.95], log-rank p = 0.019) and overall survival (OS: HR 0.69 [95%CI 0.50-0.94], log-rank p = 0.019), but no association with TTPBM (HR 0.77 [95%CI 0.51-1.16]; p = 0.213). Univariate analysis in molecular subgroups emphasized that elevated TGIF expression was prognostic for both DFS and OS in ER-positive BC patients (DFS: HR 0.68 [95%CI 0.51-0.91]; log-rank p = 0.009, interaction p = 0.130; OS: HR 0.60 [95%CI 0.41-0.88], log-rank p = 0.008, interaction p = 0.107) and in the HER2-negative subgroup (DFS:HR 0.67 [95%CI 0.50-0.88], log-rank p = 0.004, interaction p = 0.034; OS: HR 0.57 [95%CI 0.40-0.81], log-rank p = 0.002, interaction p = 0.015).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that moderate to high TGIF expression is a common feature of breast cancer cells and that this is not associated with bone metastases as first site of relapse. However, a reduced expression is linked to tumor progression, especially in HER2-negative breast cancer.

Trial Registration: This clinical trial has been registered with ClinicalTrials.gov ; registration number: NCT00196872 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-021-08656-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8364691PMC
August 2021

Association of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Prenatal Maternal Depression with Offspring Low-Grade Inflammation in Early Adolescence.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 07 27;18(15). Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.

(1) This longitudinal study aimed to investigate the link between prenatal alcohol exposure and prenatal maternal depression with the offspring's low-grade inflammatory status. (2) Prenatal alcohol exposure was determined via maternal self-report during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy (self-report+: = 29) and the meconium alcohol metabolite Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG), collected at birth (≥30 ng/g: = 23). The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was used to screen for prenatal maternal depressive symptoms during the 3rd trimester (≥10: = 35). Fifteen years later, 122 adolescents ( = 13.32 years; 48.4% female) provided blood samples for the analysis of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP; = 0.91; = 1.28). (3) Higher hsCRP levels were found in EtG positive adolescents ( = 0.036, ηp = 0.04) and an inverse non-significant dose-response relation with hsCRP ( = -0.35, = 0.113). For maternal self-reported prenatal alcohol consumption ( = 0.780, ηp = 0.00) and prenatal depressive symptoms ( = 0.360, ηp = 0.01) no differences for hsCRP levels between the affected and unaffected groups were found. (4) Adolescents with prenatal alcohol exposure are at risk for low-grade systemic inflammation. The EtG biomarker may be more accurate compared to self-reports. The findings suggest that prenatal maternal depression does not evoke low-grade systemic inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157920DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8345560PMC
July 2021

Genetic insights into biological mechanisms governing human ovarian ageing.

Nature 2021 Aug 4;596(7872):393-397. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Genome Integrity and Instability Group, Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain.

Reproductive longevity is essential for fertility and influences healthy ageing in women, but insights into its underlying biological mechanisms and treatments to preserve it are limited. Here we identify 290 genetic determinants of ovarian ageing, assessed using normal variation in age at natural menopause (ANM) in about 200,000 women of European ancestry. These common alleles were associated with clinical extremes of ANM; women in the top 1% of genetic susceptibility have an equivalent risk of premature ovarian insufficiency to those carrying monogenic FMR1 premutations. The identified loci implicate a broad range of DNA damage response (DDR) processes and include loss-of-function variants in key DDR-associated genes. Integration with experimental models demonstrates that these DDR processes act across the life-course to shape the ovarian reserve and its rate of depletion. Furthermore, we demonstrate that experimental manipulation of DDR pathways highlighted by human genetics increases fertility and extends reproductive life in mice. Causal inference analyses using the identified genetic variants indicate that extending reproductive life in women improves bone health and reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, but increases the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers. These findings provide insight into the mechanisms that govern ovarian ageing, when they act, and how they might be targeted by therapeutic approaches to extend fertility and prevent disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03779-7DOI 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

Prognostic effect of low-level HER2 expression in patients with clinically negative HER2 status.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Sep 23;155:1-12. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Marienhospital Bottrop, Bottrop, Germany.

Purpose: Assessment of HER2 overexpression using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and/or in situ hybridisation (ISH) for the detection of HER2 amplifications is standard to identify patients for established HER2-directed treatments. Patients with lower HER2 expression levels have recently also become candidates for novel therapies targeting HER2. This study aimed to assess tumour and patient characteristics and prognosis in patients with advanced breast cancer (aBC), relative to low HER2 expression levels.

Methods: PRAEGNANT is a prospective aBC registry (NCT02338167), focusing on molecular biomarkers. Patients in all therapy lines receiving any kind of treatment are eligible. This analysis includes patients with conventionally HER2-negative aBC. Clinical outcome was compared in the groups with no (IHC score 0) or with low HER2 expression (IHC 1+, or IHC 2+/ISH negative).

Results: Low HER2 expression levels in triple-negative aBC patients did not influence progression-free survival. Overall survival appeared poorer in patients with IHC 2+ compared with patients with no HER2 expression in the unadjusted analysis (hazard ratio 2.24, 95% confidence interval 0.1.12-4.47). However, this effect was not maintained in the adjusted analysis. In HER2-negative, hormone receptor-positive patients, low HER2 expression appeared to have no effect on prognosis, neither progression-free survival nor overall survival.

Conclusions: We could not demonstrate that HER2 expression at a low level and assessed in clinical routine can differentiate patients into prognostic groups. However, the prevalence of patients with a low expression makes this population interesting for clinical trials with potentially active treatments using HER2 as a target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.06.033DOI Listing
September 2021

Disseminated tumour cells from the bone marrow of early breast cancer patients: Results from an international pooled analysis.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Sep 12;154:128-137. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Department of Women's Health, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.

Purpose: Presence of disseminated tumour cells (DTCs) in the bone marrow (BM) has been described as a surrogate of residual disease in patients with early breast cancer (EBC). PADDY (Pooled Analysis of DTC Detection in Early Breast Cancer) is a large international analysis of pooled data that aimed to assess the prognostic impact of DTCs in patients with EBC.

Experimental Design: Individual patient data were collected from 11 centres. Patients with EBC and available follow-up data in whom BM sampling was performed at the time of primary diagnosis before receiving any anticancer treatment were eligible. DTCs were identified by antibody staining against epithelial cytokeratins. Multivariate Cox regression was used to compare the survival of DTC-positive versus DTC-negative patients.

Results: In total, 10,307 patients were included. Of these, 2814 (27.3%) were DTC-positive. DTC detection was associated with higher tumour grade, larger tumour size, nodal positivity, oestrogen receptor and progesterone receptor negativity, and HER2 positivity (all p < 0.001). Multivariate analyses showed that DTC detection was an independent prognostic marker for overall survival, disease-free survival and distant disease-free survival with hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of 1.23 (95% CI: 1.06-1.43, p = 0.006), 1.30 (95% CI: 1.12-1.52, p < 0.001) and 1.30 (95% CI: 1.08-1.56, p = 0.006), respectively. There was no association between locoregional relapse-free survival and DTC detection (HR 1.21; 95% CI 0.68-2.16; p = 0.512).

Conclusions: DTCs in the BM represent an independent prognostic marker in patients with EBC. The heterogeneous metastasis-initiating potential of DTCs is consistent with the concept of cancer dormancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.06.028DOI Listing
September 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 08 9;22(8):1151-1161. 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
August 2021

Analysis of Oncological Second Opinions in a Certified University Breast and Gynecological Cancer Center Regarding Consensus between the First and Second Opinion and Conformity with the Guidelines.

Breast Care (Basel) 2021 Jun 5;16(3):291-298. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Department of Gynecology, Erlangen University Hospital, University Breast Center and University Gynecological Cancer Center for Franconia, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Introduction: Oncological second opinions are becoming increasingly important in the era of complex treatments and established certified cancer centers. Oncological guidelines with the highest levels of evidence are available, but these can only be effective to the extent that they are implemented. Therefore, we analyzed the effects of second opinions with regard to their agreement with first opinions and conformity with guidelines.

Methods: In 164 patients with a diagnosis of breast cancer or gynecological malignancy who requested a second opinion, the first and second opinions, established at the interdisciplinary tumor conference, and conformity with the guidelines were evaluated.

Results: The first opinion was not in agreement with the guidelines in 34.8% (15.2% diagnosis, 12.8% surgical therapy, 13.4% systemic therapy, and 5.5% radiotherapy), and the recommendations were optimized in the second opinion in 56.7% (28.7% diagnosis, 15.9% surgical therapy, 30.5% systemic therapy, and 8.5% radiotherapy).

Conclusions: Oncological second opinions showed significant effects and one-third of first opinions were not in conformity with the guidelines. In a significant proportion of cases, the existing treatment plan was changed or supplemented to allow modern and individualized treatment approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000509127DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8248777PMC
June 2021

Influence of Family History of Breast or Ovarian Cancer on Pathological Complete Response and Long-Term Prognosis in Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy.

Breast Care (Basel) 2021 Jun 1;16(3):254-262. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

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

Purpose: In breast cancer, a pathological complete response (pCR) has been described as generally resulting in a favorable prognosis. However, there are subgroups, such as patients with a mutation in or , in which the effect of pCR on the prognosis is suspected to be weaker. Patients with a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer may therefore react differently in relation to pCR and prognosis, and this is investigated in this study.

Patients And Methods: Breast cancer patients were identified from a clinical breast cancer registry. The study subjects had been treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy from 2001 to 2018 and their pathological and clinical information as well as medical family history were available. They were considered to have a positive family history if they had at least 1 first-degree relative with breast and/or ovarian cancer. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to study the association between family history, pCR (ypT0; ypN0), and disease-free survival (DFS).

Results: Of 1,480 patients, 228 (15.4%) had a positive family history. The pCR rates were 24.9% in all patients, and 24.4% and 27.6% in those without/with a family history, respectively. Family history was not associated with a higher pCR rate (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.23; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.85-1.76; = 0.27) or a different disease-free survival (DFS; adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.15; 95% CI 0.88-1.52; = 0.30). pCR did not affect the prognosis differently in relation to family history.

Conclusions: In this retrospective analysis, family history was not associated with pCR and DFS. pCR improved survival, independently of family history.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000507475DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8248781PMC
June 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

Identification and validation of expressed HLA-binding breast cancer neoepitopes for potential use in individualized cancer therapy.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Jun;9(6)

Department of Internal Medicine 5, Hematology/Oncology, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Background: Therapeutic regimens designed to augment the immunological response of a patient with breast cancer (BC) to tumor tissue are critically informed by tumor mutational burden and the antigenicity of expressed neoepitopes. Herein we describe a neoepitope and cognate neoepitope-reactive T-cell identification and validation program that supports the development of next-generation immunotherapies.

Methods: Using GPS Cancer, NantOmics research, and The Cancer Genome Atlas databases, we developed a novel bioinformatic-based approach which assesses mutational load, neoepitope expression, human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-binding prediction, and in vitro confirmation of T-cell recognition to preferentially identify targetable neoepitopes. This program was validated by application to a BC cell line and confirmed using tumor biopsies from two patients with BC enrolled in the Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes and Genomics (TILGen) study.

Results: The antigenicity and HLA-A2 restriction of the BC cell line predicted neoepitopes were determined by reactivity of T cells from HLA-A2-expressing healthy donors. For the TILGen subjects, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) recognized the predicted neoepitopes both as peptides and on retroviral expression in HLA-matched Epstein-Barr virus-lymphoblastoid cell line and BC cell line MCF-7 cells; PCR clonotyping revealed the presence of T cells in the periphery with T-cell receptors for the predicted neoepitopes. These high-avidity immune responses were polyclonal, mutation-specific and restricted to either HLA class I or II. Interestingly, we observed the persistence and expansion of polyclonal T-cell responses following neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Conclusions: We demonstrate our neoepitope prediction program allows for the successful identification of neoepitopes targeted by TILs in patients with BC, providing a means to identify tumor-specific immunogenic targets for individualized treatment, including vaccines or adoptively transferred cellular therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002605DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8237736PMC
June 2021

Patterns and Trends of Herbal Medicine Use among Patients with Gynecologic Cancer.

Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd 2021 Jun 21;81(6):699-707. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Alb Fils Kliniken, Klinik am Eichert, Göppingen, Germany.

More and more information about complementary and integrative medicine is becoming available, especially among cancer patients. However, little is known about the use of herbal medicine by patients with gynecologic cancers. This study aimed to assess the use of herbal products by gynecologic cancer patients compared with healthy controls. This cross-sectional study was conducted at the Department for Gynecology and Obstetrics of Erlangen University Hospital and included 201 patients with gynecologic cancer and 212 healthy controls. Use of herbal medicines was evaluated using a standardized questionnaire. Medical information on cancer patients was collected from hospital records. Group comparisons were done using a logistic regression model. Risk ratios were assessed using a Poisson regression model. Gynecologic cancer patients used herbal medicine significantly less often than healthy persons. 69% of gynecologic cancer patients and 81% of healthy participants reported using herbal products. 40% of cancer patients and 56% of healthy persons reported using plants for medicinal purposes. Motives of cancer patients for using herbal medicine included treatment of cancer-related symptoms. The major source of information for both groups was family and friends. Although herbal medicine was used less by patients with gynecologic cancer, herbal products were used by both cancer patients and healthy individuals. To provide cancer patients with optimal therapy, oncologists should be informed about the herbal products used by their patients as this will allow them to take their patients' self-medication with herbal medicine into account. Counseling by oncologists on the use of herbal medicine should be encouraged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1487-6284DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8216777PMC
June 2021

Update Breast Cancer 2021 Part 3 - Current Developments in the Treatment of Early Breast Cancer: Review and Assessment of Specialised Treatment Scenarios by an International Expert Panel.

Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd 2021 Jun 21;81(6):654-665. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

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

The continuous availability of findings from new studies repeatedly results in updated treatment recommendations and guidelines. In the case of breast carcinoma in particular, several studies have been published in the last few years that have transformed how early and advanced breast carcinoma is being treated. However, this by no means means implies that there is agreement among all experts on specific issues. It is precisely the diversity of interpretation of guidelines and study findings that reflects the constantly changing available data and its complexity, as well as the availability of new drugs. In recent years, new substances such as pertuzumab, T-DM1, neratinib and capecitabine have become available to treat patients with early stages of breast carcinoma. Furthermore, the first results on the use of CDK4/6 inhibitors for adjuvant treatment have now been published. Last but not least, the use of multigene tests to avoid the necessity of chemotherapy in certain patients is still under discussion. This review summarises the state of the data and publishes the results of the survey completed by experts at the 2021 St. Gallen Breast Cancer Conference on early-stage breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1487-7642DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8216783PMC
June 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 Aug;7(8):1149-1157

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
August 2021

Identification of a Locus Near Associated With Progression-Free Survival in Ovarian Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Sep 23;30(9):1669-1680. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Gynecologic Oncology Center, Kiel, Germany.

Background: Many loci have been found to be associated with risk of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). However, although there is considerable variation in progression-free survival (PFS), no loci have been found to be associated with outcome at genome-wide levels of significance.

Methods: We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of PFS in 2,352 women with EOC who had undergone cytoreductive surgery and standard carboplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy.

Results: We found seven SNPs at 12q24.33 associated with PFS ( < 5 × 10), the top SNP being rs10794418 (HR = 1.24; 95% CI, 1.15-1.34; = 1.47 × 10). High expression of a nearby gene, , is associated with shorter PFS in EOC, and with poor prognosis in other cancers. SNP rs10794418 is also associated with expression of in ovarian tumors, with the allele associated with shorter PFS being associated with higher expression, and chromatin interactions were detected between the promoter and associated SNPs in serous and endometrioid EOC cell lines. ULK1 knockout ovarian cancer cell lines showed significantly increased sensitivity to carboplatin .

Conclusions: The locus at 12q24.33 represents one of the first genome-wide significant loci for survival for any cancer. is a plausible candidate for the target of this association.

Impact: This finding provides insight into genetic markers associated with EOC outcome and potential treatment options..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1817DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8419101PMC
September 2021

Mammographic density and prognosis in primary breast cancer patients.

Breast 2021 Oct 17;59:51-57. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Erlangen University Hospital, Comprehensive Cancer Center, European Metropolitan Area Erlangen-Nuremberg (CCC ER-EMN), Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Purpose: Mammographic density (MD) is one of the strongest risk factors for breast cancer (BC). However, the influence of MD on the BC prognosis is unclear. The objective of this study was therefore to investigate whether percentage MD (PMD) is associated with a difference in disease-free or overall survival in primary BC patients.

Methods: A total of 2525 patients with primary, metastasis-free BC were followed up retrospectively for this analysis. For all patients, PMD was evaluated by two readers using a semi-automated method. The association between PMD and prognosis was evaluated using Cox regression models with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) as the outcome, and the following adjustments: age at diagnosis, year of diagnosis, body mass index, tumor stage, grading, lymph node status, hormone receptor and HER2 status.

Results: After median observation periods of 9.5 and 10.0 years, no influence of PMD on DFS (p = 0.46, likelihood ratio test (LRT)) or OS (p = 0.22, LRT), respectively, was found. In the initial unadjusted analysis higher PMD was associated with longer DFS and OS. The effect of PMD on DFS and OS disappeared after adjustment for age and was caused by the underlying age effect.

Conclusions: Although MD is one of the strongest independent risk factors for BC, in our collective PMD is not associated with disease-free and overall survival in patients with BC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2021.06.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8237359PMC
October 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

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

Clinical effectiveness of olaparib monotherapy in germline BRCA-mutated, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer in a real-world setting: phase IIIb LUCY interim analysis.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Jul 1;152:68-77. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Baylor University Medical Centre, Texas Oncology and US Oncology, Dallas, TX, USA.

Background: In the phase III OlympiAD trial, olaparib significantly increased progression-free survival (PFS) compared with chemotherapy of physician's choice in patients with germline BRCA-mutated (gBRCAm), human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2)-negative metastatic breast cancer (mBC). The phase IIIb LUCY trial assessed the clinical effectiveness of olaparib in similar patients, in a setting reflecting clinical practice.

Methods: This open-label, single-arm trial of olaparib (300 mg, twice daily) enrolled patients with BRCAm, HER2-negative mBC who had received taxane and/or anthracycline in the (neo)adjuvant/metastatic setting and not more than two lines of prior chemotherapy for mBC. Patients with hormone receptor-positive mBC had progressed on at least one line of endocrine therapy in an adjuvant/metastatic setting and were unsuitable for further endocrine treatment. This interim analysis was planned after 160 PFS events.

Results: Of 563 patients screened, 252 patients with gBRCAm were enrolled and received at least one dose of olaparib. The median investigator-assessed PFS was 8.11 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.93-8.67; 166/252 events [65.9% maturity]). The investigator-assessed clinical response rate was 48.6%, and median time to first subsequent treatment or death was 9.66 months (95% CI, 8.67-11.14). The most common treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs; >20% patients) were nausea, anaemia, asthenia, vomiting and fatigue. Eleven patients (4.4%) discontinued treatment because of a TEAE. Grade 3 or higher TEAEs occurred in 64 patients (25.4%), including anaemia (33 patients; 13.1%).

Conclusion: Olaparib was clinically effective in patients with gBRCAm, HER2-negative mBC with safety outcomes consistent with previous findings. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03286842.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.03.029DOI Listing
July 2021

Gene-Environment Interactions Relevant to Estrogen and Risk of Breast Cancer: Can Gene-Environment Interactions Be Detected Only among Candidate SNPs from Genome-Wide Association Studies?

Cancers (Basel) 2021 May 14;13(10). Epub 2021 May 14.

Copenhagen General Population Study, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, 2730 Herlev, Denmark.

In this study we aim to examine gene-environment interactions (GxEs) between genes involved with estrogen metabolism and environmental factors related to estrogen exposure. GxE analyses were conducted with 1970 Korean breast cancer cases and 2052 controls in the case-control study, the Seoul Breast Cancer Study (SEBCS). A total of 11,555 SNPs from the 137 candidate genes were included in the GxE analyses with eight established environmental factors. A replication test was conducted by using an independent population from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), with 62,485 Europeans and 9047 Asians. The GxE tests were performed by using two-step methods in GxEScan software. Two interactions were found in the SEBCS. The first interaction was shown between rs13035764 of NCOA1 and age at menarche in the GE|2df model (-2df = 1.2 × 10). The age at menarche before 14 years old was associated with the high risk of breast cancer, and the risk was higher when subjects had homozygous minor allele G. The second GxE was shown between rs851998 near ESR1 and height in the GE|2df model (-2df = 1.1 × 10). Height taller than 160 cm was associated with a high risk of breast cancer, and the risk increased when the minor allele was added. The findings were not replicated in the BCAC. These results would suggest specificity in Koreans for breast cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13102370DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8156547PMC
May 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
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