Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology - Research Publications

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    Copy Number Aberration Analysis to Predict Response to Neoadjuvant Anti-HER2 Therapy: Results from the NeoALTTO Phase III Clinical Trial
    Venet, D ; Rediti, M ; Maetens, M ; Fumagalli, D ; Brown, DN ; Majjaj, S ; Salgado, R ; Pusztai, L ; Harbeck, N ; El-Abed, S ; Wang, Y ; Saura, C ; Gomez, H ; Semiglazov, VF ; de Azambuja, E ; Huober, J ; Nuciforo, P ; Di Cosimo, S ; Piccart, M ; Loi, S ; Rothe, F ; Sotiriou, C (AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH, 2021-10-15)
    PURPOSE: The heterogeneity of response to anti-HER2 agents represents a major challenge in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. To better understand the sensitivity and resistance to trastuzumab and lapatinib, we investigated the role of copy number aberrations (CNA) in predicting pathologic complete response (pCR) and survival outcomes in the NeoALTTO trial. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The neoadjuvant phase III NeoALTTO trial enrolled 455 patients with HER2-positive early-stage breast cancer. DNA samples from 269 patients were assessed for genome-wide copy number profiling. Recurrent CNAs were found with GISTIC2.0. RESULTS: CNA estimates were obtained for 184 patients included in NeoALTTO. Among those, matched transcriptome and whole-exome data were available for 154 and 181 patients, respectively. A significant association between gene copy number and pCR was demonstrated for ERBB2 amplification. Nevertheless, ERBB2 amplification ceased to be predictive once ERBB2 expression level was considered. GISTIC2.0 analysis revealed 159 recurrent CNA regions. Lower copy number levels of the 6q23-24 locus predicted absence of pCR in the whole cohort and in the estrogen receptor-positive subgroup. 6q23-24 deletion was significantly more frequent in TP53 wild-type (WT) compared with TP53-mutated, resulting in copy number levels significantly associated with lack of pCR only in the TP53 WT subgroup. Interestingly, a gene-ontology analysis highlighted several immune processes correlated to 6q23-24 copy number. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis identified ERBB2 copy number as well as 6q23-24 CNAs as predictors of response to anti-HER2-based treatment. ERBB2 expression outperformed ERBB2 amplification. The complexity of the 6q23-24 region warrants further investigation.
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    Corrigendum to 'First-line atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel for unresectable, locally advanced, or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer: IMpassion130 final overall survival analysis': Annals of Oncology 2021; 32: 983-993.
    Emens, LA ; Adams, S ; Barrios, CH ; Diéras, V ; Iwata, H ; Loi, S ; Rugo, HS ; Schneeweiss, A ; Winer, EP ; Patel, S ; Henschel, V ; Swat, A ; Kaul, M ; Molinero, L ; Patel, S ; Chui, SY ; Schmid, P (Elsevier BV, 2021-12)
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    A phase II randomized trial of cobimetinib plus chemotherapy, with or without atezolizumab, as first-line treatment for patients with locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (COLET): primary analysis
    Brufsky, A ; Kim, SB ; Zvirbule, Z ; Eniu, A ; Mebis, J ; Sohn, JH ; Wongchenko, M ; Chohan, S ; Amin, R ; Yan, Y ; McNally, V ; Miles, D ; Loi, S (ELSEVIER, 2021-04-13)
    BACKGROUND: Resistance to standard chemotherapy in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC) is associated with upregulation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Cobimetinib, an MAPK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK) inhibitor, may increase sensitivity to taxanes and programmed death-ligand 1 inhibitors. COLET is a three-cohort phase II study evaluating first-line cobimetinib plus chemotherapy, with or without atezolizumab, in patients with locally advanced or mTNBC. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were ≥18 years with locally advanced or mTNBC. Following a safety run-in, patients in cohort I were randomized 1:1 to cobimetinib (60 mg, D3-D23 of each 28-day cycle) or placebo, plus paclitaxel (80 mg/m2, D1, 8, and 15). Additional patients were randomized (1:1) to cohort II or III to receive cobimetinib plus atezolizumab (840 mg, D1 and D15) and either paclitaxel (cohort II) or nab-paclitaxel [cohort III (100 mg/m2, D1, D8, and D15)]. Primary endpoints were investigator-assessed progression-free survival (PFS) (cohort I) and confirmed objective response rate (ORR) (cohorts II/III). Safety and tolerability were also assessed. RESULTS: In the expansion stages, median PFS was 5.5 months for cobimetinib/paclitaxel versus 3.8 months for placebo/paclitaxel in cohort I [hazard ratio 0.73; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.43-1.24; P = 0.25]. In cohort I, ORR was 38.3% (95% CI 24.40-52.20) for cobimetinib/paclitaxel and 20.9% (95% CI 8.77-33.09) for placebo/paclitaxel; ORRs in cohorts II and III were 34.4% (95% CI 18.57-53.19) and 29.0% (95% CI 14.22-48.04), respectively. Diarrhea was the most common grade ≥3 adverse events across all cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: Cobimetinib added to paclitaxel did not lead to a statistically significant increase in PFS or ORR, although a nonsignificant trend toward a numerical increase was observed. Cobimetinib plus atezolizumab and a taxane did not appear to increase ORR. This demonstrates the potential activity of a combinatorial MEK inhibitor, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy in this difficult-to-treat population.
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    Palbociclib plus letrozole as treatment for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative advanced breast cancer for whom letrozole therapy is deemed appropriate: An expanded access study in Australia and India
    Loi, S ; Karapetis, CS ; McCarthy, N ; Oakman, C ; Redfern, A ; White, M ; Khasraw, M ; Doval, DC ; Gore, V ; Alam, M ; Binko, J ; Lu, DR ; Kim, S ; Boyle, F (WILEY, 2021-12-14)
    AIM: Palbociclib was approved in the United States in 2015 to treat estrogen receptor-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) advanced breast cancer (ABC). This study evaluated outcomes and safety in patients treated with palbociclib in Australia and India with hormone receptor-positive (HR+)/HER2- ABC before palbociclib became commercially available. METHODS: Postmenopausal women (≥18 years) with HR+/HER2- ABC who were appropriate candidates for letrozole therapy received palbociclib 125 mg once daily for 21 days followed by 7 days off, and letrozole 2.5 mg once daily (continuous). Safety, tumor response, and patient-reported outcomes (Australian cohort) were evaluated. RESULTS: In total, 252 patients received palbociclib plus letrozole (Australia, n = 152; India, n = 100). More patients in the Australian versus Indian cohort had received prior chemotherapy (advanced/metastatic setting: 45.9% vs. 32.0%), endocrine therapy (advanced/metastatic setting: 63.2% vs. 54.3%), and advanced/metastatic therapies (61.8% vs. 31.0%). The most frequently reported all-grade palbociclib-related treatment-emergent adverse events were neutropenia (66.7%), fatigue (35.3%), and stomatitis (26.6%); grade 3/4 neutropenia was reported as palbociclib-related in 62.7% of patients. Febrile neutropenia was reported in six patients (2.4%). Eight patients (3.2%) discontinued because of an adverse event. The objective response rate was 19.4% (95% CI, 14.7%-24.9%) overall and 2.3% in Australian patients with ≥2 lines of prior therapy for metastatic disease. Patient-reported quality of life scores were maintained throughout the study. CONCLUSIONS: In an expanded access setting in Australia and India, palbociclib plus letrozole was well tolerated in patients with HR+/HER2- ABC, with a safety profile consistent with previous reports.
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    The tale of TILs in breast cancer: A report from The International Immuno-Oncology Biomarker Working Group
    El Bairi, K ; Haynes, HR ; Blackley, E ; Fineberg, S ; Shear, J ; Turner, S ; de Freitas, JR ; Sur, D ; Amendola, LC ; Gharib, M ; Kallala, A ; Arun, I ; Azmoudeh-Ardalan, F ; Fujimoto, L ; Sua, LF ; Liu, S-W ; Lien, H-C ; Kirtani, P ; Balancin, M ; El Attar, H ; Guleria, P ; Yang, W ; Shash, E ; Chen, I-C ; Bautista, V ; Do Prado Moura, JF ; Rapoport, BL ; Castaneda, C ; Spengler, E ; Acosta-Haab, G ; Frahm, I ; Sanchez, J ; Castillo, M ; Bouchmaa, N ; Zin, RRM ; Shui, R ; Onyuma, T ; Yang, W ; Husain, Z ; Willard-Gallo, K ; Coosemans, A ; Perez, EA ; Provenzano, E ; Ericsson, PG ; Richardet, E ; Mehrotra, R ; Sarancone, S ; Ehinger, A ; Rimm, DL ; Bartlett, JMS ; Viale, G ; Denkert, C ; Hida, AI ; Sotiriou, C ; Loibl, S ; Hewitt, SM ; Badve, S ; Symmans, WF ; Kim, RS ; Pruneri, G ; Goel, S ; Francis, PA ; Inurrigarro, G ; Yamaguchi, R ; Garcia-Rivello, H ; Horlings, H ; Afqir, S ; Salgado, R ; Adams, S ; Kok, M ; Dieci, MV ; Michiels, S ; Demaria, S ; Loi, S (NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2021-12-01)
    The advent of immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) in modern oncology has significantly improved survival in several cancer settings. A subgroup of women with breast cancer (BC) has immunogenic infiltration of lymphocytes with expression of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1). These patients may potentially benefit from ICI targeting the programmed death 1 (PD-1)/PD-L1 signaling axis. The use of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) as predictive and prognostic biomarkers has been under intense examination. Emerging data suggest that TILs are associated with response to both cytotoxic treatments and immunotherapy, particularly for patients with triple-negative BC. In this review from The International Immuno-Oncology Biomarker Working Group, we discuss (a) the biological understanding of TILs, (b) their analytical and clinical validity and efforts toward the clinical utility in BC, and (c) the current status of PD-L1 and TIL testing across different continents, including experiences from low-to-middle-income countries, incorporating also the view of a patient advocate. This information will help set the stage for future approaches to optimize the understanding and clinical utilization of TIL analysis in patients with BC.
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    First-line atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel for unresectable, locally advanced, or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer: IMpassion130 final overall survival analysis.
    Emens, LA ; Adams, S ; Barrios, CH ; Diéras, V ; Iwata, H ; Loi, S ; Rugo, HS ; Schneeweiss, A ; Winer, EP ; Patel, S ; Henschel, V ; Swat, A ; Kaul, M ; Molinero, L ; Patel, S ; Chui, SY ; Schmid, P (Elsevier BV, 2021-08)
    BACKGROUND: Guidelines recommend atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel (A + nP) for first-line treatment of unresectable, locally advanced, or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer expressing programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) on tumor-infiltrating immune cells (IC), based on IMpassion130. We report the final overall survival (OS) and safety of that study as per the prespecified analysis plan. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were randomized to nP 100 mg/m2 (days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle) with atezolizumab 840 mg (A + nP) or placebo (P + nP; days 1 and 15), until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Coprimary endpoints were progression-free survival [intention-to-treat (ITT) and PD-L1 IC-positive populations] and OS (tested hierarchically in the ITT population and, if significant, in the PD-L1 IC-positive population). RESULTS: Each arm comprised 451 patients; 666 (73.8%) had died by the final OS analysis cut-off (median follow-up, 18.8 months; interquartile range, 8.9-34.7 months). Median OS in the ITT population was 21.0 months [95% confidence interval (CI), 19.0-23.4 months] with A + nP, and 18.7 months (95% CI, 16.9-20.8 months) with P + nP [stratified hazard ratio (HR), 0.87; 95% CI, 0.75-1.02; P = 0.077]. Exploratory analysis in the PD-L1 IC-positive population showed a median OS of 25.4 months (95% CI, 19.6-30.7 months) with A + nP (n = 185) and 17.9 months (95% CI, 13.6-20.3 months) with P + nP (n = 184; stratified HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.53-0.86). Safety outcomes were consistent with previous analyses and the known toxicity profiles of each agent. Immune-mediated adverse events of special interest were reported in 58.7% and 41.6% of patients treated with A + nP and P + nP, respectively. CONCLUSION: Although the OS benefit in the ITT population was not statistically significant, precluding formal testing, clinically meaningful OS benefit was observed with A + nP in PD-L1 IC-positive patients, consistent with prior interim analyses. This combination remained safe and tolerable with longer follow-up.
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    Genomic and Transcriptomic Analyses of Breast Cancer Primaries and Matched Metastases in AURORA, the Breast International Group (BIG) Molecular Screening Initiative
    Aftimos, P ; Oliveira, M ; Irrthum, A ; Fumagalli, D ; Sotiriou, C ; Gal-Yam, EN ; Robson, ME ; Ndozeng, J ; Di Leo, A ; Ciruelos, EM ; de Azambuja, E ; Viale, G ; Scheepers, ED ; Curigliano, G ; Bliss, JM ; Reis-Filho, JS ; Colleoni, M ; Balic, M ; Cardoso, F ; Albanell, J ; Duhem, C ; Marreaud, S ; Romagnoli, D ; Rojas, B ; Gombos, A ; Wildiers, H ; Guerrero-Zotano, A ; Hall, P ; Bonetti, A ; Larsson, KF ; Degiorgis, M ; Khodaverdi, S ; Greil, R ; Sverrisdottir, A ; Paoli, M ; Seyll, E ; Loibl, S ; Linderholm, B ; Zoppoli, G ; Davidson, NE ; Johannsson, OT ; Bedard, PL ; Loi, S ; Knox, S ; Cameron, DA ; Harbeck, N ; Montoya, ML ; Brandao, M ; Vingiani, A ; Caballero, C ; Hilbers, FS ; Yates, LR ; Benelli, M ; Venet, D ; Piccart, MJ (AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH, 2021-11-01)
    AURORA aims to study the processes of relapse in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) by performing multi-omics profiling on paired primary tumors and early-course metastases. Among 381 patients (primary tumor and metastasis pairs: 252 targeted gene sequencing, 152 RNA sequencing, 67 single nucleotide polymorphism arrays), we found a driver role for GATA1 and MEN1 somatic mutations. Metastases were enriched in ESR1, PTEN, CDH1, PIK3CA, and RB1 mutations; MDM4 and MYC amplifications; and ARID1A deletions. An increase in clonality was observed in driver genes such as ERBB2 and RB1. Intrinsic subtype switching occurred in 36% of cases. Luminal A/B to HER2-enriched switching was associated with TP53 and/or PIK3CA mutations. Metastases had lower immune score and increased immune-permissive cells. High tumor mutational burden correlated to shorter time to relapse in HR+/HER2- cancers. ESCAT tier I/II alterations were detected in 51% of patients and matched therapy was used in 7%. Integration of multi-omics analyses in clinical practice could affect treatment strategies in MBC. SIGNIFICANCE: The AURORA program, through the genomic and transcriptomic analyses of matched primary and metastatic samples from 381 patients with breast cancer, coupled with prospectively collected clinical data, identified genomic alterations enriched in metastases and prognostic biomarkers. ESCAT tier I/II alterations were detected in more than half of the patients.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 2659.
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    PD-L1 Immunohistochemistry Assay Comparison in Atezolizumab Plus nab-Paclitaxel-Treated Advanced Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
    Rugo, HS ; Loi, S ; Adams, S ; Schmid, P ; Schneeweiss, A ; Barrios, CH ; Iwata, H ; Dieras, V ; Winer, EP ; Kockx, MM ; Peeters, D ; Chui, SY ; Lin, JC ; Duc, AN ; Viale, G ; Molinero, L ; Emens, LA (OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2021-06-07)
    BACKGROUND: In the phase III IMpassion130 study, atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel (A+nP) showed clinical benefit in advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer patients who were programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)+ (tumor-infiltrating immune cells [IC] ≥1%) using the SP142 immunohistochemistry assay. Here we evaluate 2 other PD-L1 assays for analytical concordance with SP142 and patient-associated clinical outcomes. METHODS: Samples from 614 patients (68.1% of intention-to-treat population) were centrally evaluated by immunohistochemistry for PD-L1 status on IC (VENTANA SP142, SP263, Dako 22C3) or as a combined positive score (CPS; 22C3). RESULTS: Using SP142, SP263, and 22C3 assays, PD-L1 IC ≥1% prevalence was 46.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 42.5% to 50.4%), 74.9% (95% CI = 71.5% to 78.3%), and 73.1% (95% CI = 69.6% to 76.6%), respectively; 80.9% were 22C3 CPS ≥1. At IC ≥1% (+), the analytical concordance between SP142 and SP263 and 22C3 was 69.2% and 68.7%, respectively. Almost all SP142+ cases were captured by other assays (double positive), but several SP263+ (29.6%) or 22C3+ (29.0%) cases were SP142- (single positive). A+nP clinical activity vs placebo+nP in SP263+ and 22C3+ patients (progression-free survival [PFS] hazard ratios [HRs] = 0.64 to 0.68; overall survival [OS] HRs = 0.75 to 0.79) was driven by double-positive cases (PFS HRs = 0.60 to 0.61; OS HRs = 0.71 to 0.75) rather than single-positive cases (PFS HRs = 0.68 to 0.81; OS HRs = 0.87 to 0.95). Concordance for harmonized cutoffs for SP263 (IC ≥4%) and 22C3 (CPS ≥10) to SP142 (IC ≥1%) was subpar (approximately 75%). CONCLUSIONS: 22C3 and SP263 assays identified more patients as PD-L1+ (IC ≥1%) than SP142. No inter-assay analytical equivalency was observed. Consistent improved A+nP efficacy was captured by the SP142 PD-L1 IC ≥1% subgroup nested within 22C3 and SP263 PD-L1+ (IC ≥1%) populations.
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    Tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes in non-invasive breast cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis
    Caparica, R ; Bruzzone, M ; Agostinetto, E ; Franzoi, MA ; Ceppi, M ; Radosevic-Robin, N ; Penault-Llorca, F ; Willard-Gallo, K ; Loi, S ; Salgado, R ; de Azambuja, E (CHURCHILL LIVINGSTONE, 2021-07-14)
    BACKGROUND: The role of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) as a biomarker in non-invasive breast cancer is unclear. This meta-analysis assessed the prognostic impact of TIL levels in patients with non-invasive breast cancer. METHODS: Systematic literature search was performed to identify studies assessing local recurrence in patients with non-invasive breast cancer according to TIL levels (high vs. low). Subgroup analyses per local recurrence (invasive and non-invasive) were performed. Secondary objectives were the association between TIL levels and non-invasive breast cancer subtypes, age, grade and necrosis. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were extracted from each study and a pooled analysis was conducted with random-effect model. RESULTS: Seven studies (N = 3437) were included in the present meta-analysis. High-TILs were associated with a higher likelihood of local recurrence (invasive or non-invasive, N = 2941; OR 2.05; 95%CI, 1.03-4.08; p = 0.042), although with a lower likelihood of invasive local recurrence (N = 1722; OR 0.69; 95%CI, 0.49-0.99; p = 0.042). High-TIL levels were associated with triple-negative (OR 3.84; 95%CI, 2.23-6.61; p < 0.001) and HER2-positive (OR 6.27; 95%CI, 4.93-7.97; p < 0.001) subtypes, high grade (OR 5.15; 95%CI, 3.69-7.19; p < 0.001) and necrosis (OR 3.09; 95%CI, 2.33-4.10; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: High-TIL levels were associated with more aggressive tumours, a higher likelihood of local recurrence (invasive or non-invasive) but a lower likelihood of invasive local recurrence in patients with non-invasive breast cancer.
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    Intracranial Efficacy and Survival With Tucatinib Plus Trastuzumab and Capecitabine for Previously Treated HER2-Positive Breast Cancer With Brain Metastases in the HER2CLIMB Trial
    Lin, NU ; Borges, V ; Anders, C ; Murthy, RK ; Paplomata, E ; Hamilton, E ; Hurvitz, S ; Loi, S ; Okines, A ; Abramson, V ; Bedard, PL ; Oliveira, M ; Mueller, V ; Zelnak, A ; DiGiovanna, MP ; Bachelot, T ; Chien, AJ ; O'Regan, R ; Wardley, A ; Conlin, A ; Cameron, D ; Carey, L ; Curigliano, G ; Gelmon, K ; Loibl, S ; Mayor, J ; McGoldrick, S ; An, X ; Winer, EP (AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY, 2020-08-10)
    PURPOSE: In the HER2CLIMB study, patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer with brain metastases (BMs) showed statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) with tucatinib. We describe exploratory analyses of intracranial efficacy and survival in participants with BMs. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were randomly assigned 2:1 to tucatinib or placebo, in combination with trastuzumab and capecitabine. All patients underwent baseline brain magnetic resonance imaging; those with BMs were classified as active or stable. Efficacy analyses were performed by applying RECIST 1.1 criteria to CNS target lesions by investigator assessment. CNS-PFS (intracranial progression or death) and overall survival (OS) were evaluated in all patients with BMs. Confirmed intracranial objective response rate (ORR-IC) was evaluated in patients with measurable intracranial disease. RESULTS: There were 291 patients with BMs: 198 (48%) in the tucatinib arm and 93 (46%) in the control arm. The risk of intracranial progression or death was reduced by 68% in the tucatinib arm (hazard ratio [HR], 0.32; 95% CI, 0.22 to 0.48; P < .0001). Median CNS-PFS was 9.9 months in the tucatinib arm versus 4.2 months in the control arm. Risk of death was reduced by 42% in the tucatinib arm (OS HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.85; P = .005). Median OS was 18.1 versus 12.0 months. ORR-IC was higher in the tucatinib arm (47.3%; 95% CI, 33.7% to 61.2%) versus the control arm (20.0%; 95% CI, 5.7% to 43.7%; P = .03). CONCLUSION: In patients with HER2-positive breast cancer with BMs, the addition of tucatinib to trastuzumab and capecitabine doubled ORR-IC, reduced risk of intracranial progression or death by two thirds, and reduced risk of death by nearly half. To our knowledge, this is the first regimen to demonstrate improved antitumor activity against BMs in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer in a randomized, controlled trial.