Purpose: This study aimed to identify biomarkers of resistance to endocrine therapy in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers treated with prolonged neoadjuvant letrozole. Experimental Design: We performed targeted DNA and RNA sequencing in 68 ER+ breast cancers from patients treated with preoperative letrozole (median, 7 months). Results: Twenty-four tumors (35%) exhibited a PEPI score >= 4 and/or recurred after a median of 58 months and were considered endocrine resistant. Integration of the 47 most upregulated genes (log FC > 1, FDR < 0.03) in letrozole-resistant tumors with transcription-binding data showed significant overlap with 20 E2F4-regulated genes (P = 2.56E-15). In patients treated with the CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib before surgery, treatment significantly decreased expression of 24 of the 47 most upregulated genes in letrozole-resistant tumors, including 18 of the 20 E2F4 target genes. In long-term estrogen-deprived ER+ breast cancer cells, palbociclib also downregulated all 20 E2F4 target genes and P-RB levels, whereas the ER downregulator fulvestrant or paclitaxel only partially suppressed expression of this set of genes and had no effect on P-RB. Finally, an E2F4 activation signature was strongly associated with resistance to aromatase inhibitors in the ACOSOG Z1031B neoadjuvant trial and with an increased risk of relapse in adjuvant-treated ER+ tumors in METABRIC. Conclusions: In tumors resistant to prolonged neoadjuvant letrozole, we identified a gene expression signature of E2F4 target activation. CDK4/6 inhibition suppressed E2F4 target gene expression in estrogen-deprived ER+ breast cancer cells and in patients' ER+ tumors, suggesting a potential benefit of adjuvant CDK4/6 inhibitors in patients with ER+ breast cancer who fail to respond to preoperative estrogen deprivation. (C) 2018 AACR.

ER+ breast cancers resistant to prolonged neoadjuvant letrozole exhibit an E2F4 transcriptional program sensitive to CDK4/6 inhibitors

Luigi Formisano;Alberto Servetto;
2018

Abstract

Purpose: This study aimed to identify biomarkers of resistance to endocrine therapy in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers treated with prolonged neoadjuvant letrozole. Experimental Design: We performed targeted DNA and RNA sequencing in 68 ER+ breast cancers from patients treated with preoperative letrozole (median, 7 months). Results: Twenty-four tumors (35%) exhibited a PEPI score >= 4 and/or recurred after a median of 58 months and were considered endocrine resistant. Integration of the 47 most upregulated genes (log FC > 1, FDR < 0.03) in letrozole-resistant tumors with transcription-binding data showed significant overlap with 20 E2F4-regulated genes (P = 2.56E-15). In patients treated with the CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib before surgery, treatment significantly decreased expression of 24 of the 47 most upregulated genes in letrozole-resistant tumors, including 18 of the 20 E2F4 target genes. In long-term estrogen-deprived ER+ breast cancer cells, palbociclib also downregulated all 20 E2F4 target genes and P-RB levels, whereas the ER downregulator fulvestrant or paclitaxel only partially suppressed expression of this set of genes and had no effect on P-RB. Finally, an E2F4 activation signature was strongly associated with resistance to aromatase inhibitors in the ACOSOG Z1031B neoadjuvant trial and with an increased risk of relapse in adjuvant-treated ER+ tumors in METABRIC. Conclusions: In tumors resistant to prolonged neoadjuvant letrozole, we identified a gene expression signature of E2F4 target activation. CDK4/6 inhibition suppressed E2F4 target gene expression in estrogen-deprived ER+ breast cancer cells and in patients' ER+ tumors, suggesting a potential benefit of adjuvant CDK4/6 inhibitors in patients with ER+ breast cancer who fail to respond to preoperative estrogen deprivation. (C) 2018 AACR.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/708554
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