Triple-negative (TN) breast cancer is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer associated with a unique set of epidemiologic and genetic risk factors. We conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study of TN breast cancer (stage 1: 1529 TN cases, 3399 controls; stage 2: 2148 cases, 1309 controls) to identify loci that influence TN breast cancer risk. Variants in the 19p13.1 and PTHLH loci showed genome-wide significant associations (P < 5 × 10-8) in stage 1 and 2 combined. Results also suggested a substantial enrichment of significantly associated variants among the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) analyzed in stage 2. Variants from 25 of 74 known breast cancer susceptibility loci were also associated with risk of TN breast cancer (P < 0.05). Associations with TN breast cancer were confirmed for 10 loci (LGR6, MDM4, CASP8, 2q35, 2p24.1, TERT-rs10069690, ESR1, TOX3, 19p13.1, RALY), and we identified associations with TN breast cancer for 15 additional breast cancer loci (P < 0.05: PEX14, 2q24.1, 2q31.1, ADAM29, EBF1, TCF7L2, 11q13.1, 11q24.3, 12p13.1, PTHLH, NTN4, 12q24, BRCA2, RAD51L1-rs2588809, MKL1). Further, two SNPs independent of previously reported signals in ESR1 [rs12525163 odds ratio (OR) = 1.15, P = 4.9 × 10-4] and 19p13.1 (rs1864112 OR = 0.84, P = 1.8 × 10-9) were associated with TN breast cancer. A polygenic risk score (PRS) for TN breast cancer based on known breast cancer risk variants showed a 4-fold difference in risk between the highest and lowest PRS quintiles (OR = 4.03, 95% confidence interval 3.46-4.70, P = 4.8 × 10-69). This translates to an absolute risk for TN breast cancer ranging from 0.8% to 3.4%, suggesting that genetic variation may be used for TN breast cancer risk prediction.
Aim: The mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (MET) is a receptor tyrosine kinase that plays a key role in cell survival, growth, angiogenesis and metastasis. Because its expression is frequently altered in tumors, MET is currently under investigation as a potential target for anticancer therapy. The purpose of the present study was to determine the prognostic value of tumor MET expression levels in patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer, in order to strengthen the rationale for targeted therapy using MET inhibitors in this breast cancer subpopulation. Materials and Methods: We determined the expression of MET in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded surgical specimens of ERand HER2-positive breast cancer by immunohistochemistry. Results: Comparisons of MET expression with clinical parameters, including survival of the patients, were performed with MET expression as a dichotomized variable classified as high or low. Out of 78 tumors, 3 (3.8%) showed high MET expression. The analysis examining the association between MET and survival did not yield any statistically significant result regarding overall survival or disease-free survival. Conclusion: ER- and HER2-positive breast carcinomas do not exhibit high MET expression. This null finding, the first to be reported in the literature, is of great importance, since it indicates that this sub-group population is not proper candidate for clinical trials with MET inhibitors.
Melphalan is one of the most active chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). However, the mechanism underlying differential patient responses to melphalan therapy is unknown. METHODS :Chromatin structure, transcriptional activity and DNA damage response signals were examined following ex vivo treatment with melphalan of both malignant bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of MM patients, responders (n=57) or non-responders (n=28) to melphalan therapy. PBMCs from healthy controls (n=25) were also included in the study. In both BMPCs and PBMCs, the local chromatin looseness, transcriptional activity and repair efficiency of the transcribed strand (TS) were significantly higher in non-responders than in responders and lowest in healthy controls (all P<0.05). Moreover, we found that melphalan-induced apoptosis inversely correlated with the repair efficiency of the TS, with the duration of the inhibition of mRNA synthesis, phosphorylation of p53 at serine 15 and apoptosis rates being higher in responders than in non-responders (all P<0.001). Our findings provide a mechanistic basis for the link between DNA repair efficiency and response to melphalan therapy. Interestingly, the observation of these phenomena in PBMCs provides a novel approach for the prediction of response to anti-myeloma therapy.
Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a distinct B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder for which clearly defined criteria for the diagnosis, initiation of therapy, and treatment strategy have been proposed as part of the consensus panels of International Workshops on WM (IWWM). As part of the IWWM-7 and based on recently published and ongoing clinical trials, the panels updated treatment recommendations. Therapeutic strategy in WM should be based on individual patient and disease characteristics (age, comorbidities, need for rapid disease control, candidacy for autologous transplantation, cytopenias, IgM-related complications, hyperviscosity, and neuropathy). Mature data show that rituximab combinations with cyclophosphamide/ dexamethasone, bendamustine, or bortezomib/dexamethasone provided durable responses and are indicatedformostpatients. Newmonoclonalan-tibodies (ofatumumab), second-generation proteasome inhibitors (carfilzomib), mam-malian target of rapamycin inhibitors, and Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors are promising and may expand future treatment options. A different regimen is typically recommended for relapsed or refractory disease. In selected patients with relapsed disease after long-lasting remission, reuse of a prior effective regimen may be appropriate. Autologous stem cell transplantation may be considered in young patients with chemosensitive disease and in newly diagnosed patients with very-high-risk features. Active enrollment of patients with WM in clinical trials is encouraged.
Suppression of uninvolved immunoglobulins is common in multiple myeloma (MM) but the prognostic significance of this phenomenon has not been assessed. We evaluated the prognostic significance of the preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in 1755 consecutive, unselected, patients with newly diagnosed, symptomatic MM with pre-therapy immunoglobulin levels measured by nephelometry. Suppression of at least one uninvolved immunoglobulin was observed in 87% of patients and was more common in patients with immunoglobulin A myeloma, those aged over 65 years, in patients with advanced-International Staging System (ISS) stage, extensive-bone marrow infiltration, anemia, low platelet counts, high levels of serum M-monoclonal protein or renal dysfunction. Patients with preserved immunoglobulins had a better survival than patients with suppressed immunoglobulins (median survival 55 vs 41.5 months, P<0.001). In multivariate analysis, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was independently associated with better survival (hazard ratio: 0.781, 95% confidence interval: 0.618-0.987, P=0.039); irrespective of the treatment. In a subset of 500 patients, which were strictly followed for disease progression, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was associated with a significantly longer progression-free survival (60 vs 25 months, P<0.001), independently of other common prognostic factors. In conclusion, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic MM was independently associated with long term disease control and improved survival.Leukemia advance online publication, 11 April 2014; doi:10.1038/leu.2014.110.
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