New and emerging treatments for estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer: focus on everolimus.
ABSTRACT: Management of patients with metastatic hormone receptor-positive breast cancer poses a challenge due to the inevitable development of endocrine resistance. Hormone resistance is associated with a complex interaction of the estrogen receptor with growth factors, transmembrane receptors, and intracellular growth cascades. The PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway plays a major role in hormone resistance and proliferation of breast cancer. Preclinical and clinical data indicate that inhibitors of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2, epidermal growth factor receptor, insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor, and the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway may act synergistically with hormone therapy to circumvent endocrine resistance. Everolimus is currently approved for combination with exemestane in postmenopausal women with advanced hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. However, we still need to unfold the full potential of targeted agents in the hormone-refractory setting and to identify the subsets of patients who will benefit from combination hormonal therapy using targeted agents.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recently, many endocrine therapies have become available for hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, pretreated, advanced breast cancer. Direct comparisons of these novel treatments to assess their added value, however, are lacking METHODS:: Our aim was to synthesize available evidence to compare all current endocrine treatments for hormone receptor-positive / human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative advanced breast cancer. We performed a systematic review to identify available randomized controlled trial evidence. We searched Embase, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials. Two trials presented at international oncology congresses (American Society of Clinical Oncology [ASCO]) were added to include the most recent evidence. A frequent network meta-analysis was used, and the surface under cumulative ranking area (SUCRA) was calculated to determine the best treatment RESULTS:: In total, 32 trials and 12,726 patients were identified, including 27 arms. Compared with fulvestrant 500?mg alone, novel target inhibitors combined with fulvestrant or exemestane had significantly prolonged progression-free survival with hazard ratios ranging from 0.62 to 0.82. Fulvestrant 500?mg plus palbociclib 125?mg and exemestane 25?mg plus entinostat 5?mg similarly extended progression-free survival (hazard ratio: 0.64 and 0.62 with SUCRA values of 91% and 92%, respectively). The exemestane 25?mg plus everolimus 10?mg combination had the best clinical benefit rate (risk ratio: 1.84, SUCRA: 91%) and overall response rate (risk ratio: 6.05, SUCRA: 97%) CONCLUSIONS:: On the basis of this analysis, the 2 combinations of exemestane plus everolimus and fulvestrant plus palbociclib were the best treatment options.
Project description:The present case report describes a postmenopausal patient with hormone receptor (HR)+/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)+ metastatic breast cancer, who experienced progression of disease in bilateral lungs, lymph nodes and the liver under previous endocrine therapy and trastuzumab. Following the failure of two lines of endocrine-based treatment, the patient was administered the combined treatment of everolimus, trastuzumab and exemestane following surgical resection of the liver metastasis. A durable partial remission was achieved, which has continued for >27 months. This prominent clinical outcome in this patient demonstrates that the combined administration of endocrine therapy, trastuzumab and everolimus is clinically effective, and may induce long-term remission in patients with HR+/HER2+ metastatic breast cancer.
Project description:Risk of recurrence is the primary consideration in breast cancer adjuvant therapy recommendations. The TEXT (Tamoxifen and Exemestane Trial) and SOFT (Suppression of Ovarian Function Trial) trials investigated adjuvant endocrine therapies for premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, testing exemestane plus ovarian function suppression (OFS), tamoxifen plus OFS, and tamoxifen alone. We examined absolute treatment effect across a continuum of recurrence risk to individualize endocrine therapy decision making for premenopausal women with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) -negative disease.The TEXT and SOFT hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative analysis population included 4,891 women. The end point was breast cancer-free interval (BCFI), defined as time from random assignment to first occurrence of invasive locoregional, distant, or contralateral breast cancer. A continuous, composite measure of recurrence risk for each patient was determined from a Cox model incorporating age, nodal status, tumor size and grade, and estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and Ki-67 expression levels. Subpopulation treatment effect pattern plot methodology revealed differential treatment effects on 5-year BCFI according to composite risk.SOFT patients who remained premenopausal after chemotherapy experienced absolute improvement of 5% or more in 5-year BCFI with exemestane plus OFS versus tamoxifen plus OFS or tamoxifen alone, reaching 10% to 15% at intermediate to high composite risk; the benefit of tamoxifen plus OFS versus tamoxifen alone was apparent at the highest composite risk. The SOFT no-chemotherapy cohort-for whom composite risk was lowest on average-did well with all endocrine therapies. For TEXT patients, the benefit of exemestane plus OFS versus tamoxifen plus OFS in 5-year BCFI ranged from 5% to 15%; patients not receiving chemotherapy and with lowest composite risk did well with both treatments.Premenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative disease and high recurrence risk, as defined by clinicopathologic characteristics, may experience improvement of 10% to 15% in 5-year BCFI with exemestane plus OFS versus tamoxifen alone. An improvement of at least 5% may be achieved for women at intermediate risk, and improvement is minimal for those at lowest risk.
Project description:Purpose To describe benefits and toxicities of adjuvant endocrine therapies in women younger than 35 years with breast cancer (n = 582) enrolled in the Suppression of Ovarian Function Trial (SOFT) and Tamoxifen and Exemestane Trial (TEXT). Methods In SOFT, women still premenopausal after surgery with or without chemotherapy were randomly assigned to tamoxifen alone, tamoxifen plus ovarian function suppression (OFS), or exemestane plus OFS. In TEXT, all received OFS with or without concomitant chemotherapy and were randomly assigned to exemestane plus OFS or tamoxifen plus OFS. We summarize treatment efficacy, quality of life, and adherence of the cohort of women younger than 35 years in SOFT and TEXT, alongside data from the cohort of older premenopausal women. Results For 240 human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative patients younger than 35 years enrolled in SOFT after receiving chemotherapy, the 5-year breast cancer-free interval (BCFI) was 67.1% (95% CI, 54.6% to 76.9%) with tamoxifen alone, 75.9% with tamoxifen plus OFS (95% CI, 64.0% to 84.4%), and 83.2% with exemestane plus OFS (95% CI, 72.7% to 90.0%). For 145 human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative patients younger than 35 years in TEXT, 5-year BCFI was 79.2% (95% CI, 66.2% to 87.7%) with tamoxifen plus OFS and 81.6% (95% CI, 69.8% to 89.2%) with exemestane plus OFS. The most prominent quality of life symptom for patients younger than 35 years receiving OFS was vasomotor symptoms, with the greatest worsening from baseline at 6 months (on the order of 30 to 40 points), but loss of sexual interest and difficulties in becoming aroused were also clinically meaningful (≥ 8-point change). The level of symptom burden was similar in older premenopausal women. A total of 19.8% of women younger than 35 years stopped all protocol-assigned endocrine therapy early. Conclusion In women younger than 35 years with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, adjuvant OFS combined with tamoxifen or exemestane produces large improvements in BCFI compared with tamoxifen alone. Menopausal symptoms are significant but are not worse than those seen in older premenopausal women.
Project description:Aromatase inhibition is one of the cornerstones of modern endocrine therapy of oestrogen receptor-positive (ER+) metastatic breast cancer (MBC). The nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors anastrozole and letrozole, as well as the steroidal aromatase inactivator exemestane, are the preferred drugs and established worldwide in all clinical phases of the disease. However, although many patients suffering from MBC experience an initial stabilisation of their metastatic burden, drug resistance and disease progression occur frequently, following in general only a few months on treatment. Extensive translational research during the past two decades has elucidated the major pathways contributing to endocrine resistance and paved the way for clinical studies investigating the efficacy of novel drug combinations involving aromatase inhibitors and emerging drugable targets like mTOR, PI3K and CDK4/6. The present review summarises the basic research that provided the rationale for new drug combinations involving aromatase inhibitors and the main findings of pivotal clinical trials that have already started to change our way to treat hormone-sensitive MBC. The challenging situation of oestrogen receptor-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) MBC is also shortly reviewed to underline the complexity of the clinical scenario in the heterogeneous subgroups of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer patients and the increasing need for personalised medicine. Finally, we summarise some of the promising findings made with the combination of aromatase inhibitors with other potent endocrine treatment options like fulvestrant, a selective oestrogen receptor downregulator.
Project description:Endocrine therapy was recommended as the preferred first-line treatment for hormone receptor-positive (HR+, i.e., ER+ and/or PgR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor-2-negative (HER2-) postmenopausal advanced breast cancer (ABC), but which endocrine monotherapy is optimal lacks consensus. We aimed to identify the optimal endocrine monotherapy with a network meta-analysis.We performed a network meta-analysis for a comprehensive analysis of 6 first-line endocrine monotherapies (letrozole, anastrozole, exemestane, tamoxifen, fulvestrant 250?mg and 500?mg) for HR+ HER2- metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal patients. The main outcomes were objective response rate (ORR), time to progression (TTP), and progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary outcomes were adverse events.We identified 27 articles of 8 randomized controlled trials including 3492 patients in the network meta-analysis. For ORR, the treatments ranked in descending order of effectiveness were letrozole > exemestane > anastrozole > fulvestrant 500?mg > tamoxifen > fulvestrant 250?mg. For TTP/PFS, the order was fulvestrant 500?mg > letrozole > anastrozole > exemestane > tamoxifen > fulvestrant 250?mg. We directly compared adverse events and found that tamoxifen produced more hot flash events than fulvestrant 250?mg.Fulvestrant 500?mg and letrozole might be optimal first-line endocrine monotherapy choices for HR+ HER2- ABC because of efficacious ORR and TTP/PFS, with a favorable tolerability profile. However, direct comparisons among endocrine monotherapies in the first-line therapy setting are still required to robustly demonstrate any differences among these endocrine agents. Clinical choices should also depend on the specific disease situation and duration of endocrine therapy.
Project description:Obese women with breast cancer have worse prognosis than women with normal body mass index. Endocrine therapy resistance is in part mediated by insulin resistance in obese women with breast cancer. We investigated the tolerability and pharmacokinetics of exemestane in combination with metformin and rosiglitazone in nondiabetic overweight and obese postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer.Patients had previously received chemotherapy and endocrine therapy for breast cancer. Exemestane was given as 25 mg orally per day. Metformin (M) and rosiglitazone (R) were given twice daily. Dose level 1 consisted of M 1,500 mg/day and R 6 mg/day. Dose level 2 consisted of M 2,000 mg/day and R 8 mg/day. Plasma concentrations of exemestane were measured on days 1, 8, and 15.Twenty patients were enrolled. Fourteen patients received exemestane, metformin, and rosiglitazone. Six patients received exemestane with metformin only (2,000 mg/day). Both regimens were well tolerated at the highest doses tested, and there were no notable changes in plasma exemestane levels. Six patients (30%) had stable disease for 6 months or longer.Oral daily administration of exemestane (25 mg) and metformin (2,000 mg) with and without rosiglitazone (8 mg) daily was well tolerated. Exemestane pharmacokinetics were not altered by metformin and rosiglitazone.
Project description:In patients with hormone receptor-positive advanced breast cancer, response to endocrine therapy is frequently limited by endocrine resistance. One important mechanism of resistance is related to mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a molecule involved in the activation of alternative signaling pathways. Preclinically, resensitization of endocrine resistance can be achieved by the addition of the mTOR inhibitor everolimus to endocrine therapy. Recent results of clinical trials confirmed the clinical activity of combining everolimus and endocrine therapy in neoadjuvant and advanced breast cancer. The BOLERO-2 trial demonstrated significant progression-free survival benefits for the addition of everolimus to exemestane. These data were the basis for the recent approval of everolimus in combination with exemestane for the treatment of advanced hormone r eceptor-positive breast cancer. In clinical practice, the following 3 patient groups are particularly suitable for this treatment: those with progression on aromatase inhibitor therapy, those who respond well to chemotherapy and might benefit from subsequent endocrine therapy, and those with non-aggressive tumor biology. Everolimus treatment requires careful clinical monitoring due to the potentially serious side effects, e.g. stomatitis and pneumonitis. It is also important to educate patients and physicians in order to increase their awareness of side effects. At present, everolimus is investigated in clinical trials.
Project description:Endocrine therapies are effective in the treatment of hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer, however, de novo or acquired treatment resistance is a significant clinical problem. A potential mechanism of resistance involves changes in gene expression secondary to epigenetic modifications, which might be reversed with the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors such as entinostat. The ENCORE 301 phase II randomized, placebo-controlled study demonstrated a significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), with the addition of entinostat to exemestane in patients with HR-positive advanced breast cancer with disease progression after prior non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor (AI). These results prompted the development of E2112, a phase III registration trial which is investigating entinostat/placebo in combination with exemestane in patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer who have experienced disease progression after a non-steroidal AI. E2112 aims to validate the preclinical and clinical findings supporting the role of HDAC inhibitors in overcoming resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer, and ultimately improve outcomes for patients with advanced breast cancer.
Project description:Although antiestrogen therapies targeting estrogen receptor (ER) α signaling prevent disease recurrence in the majority of patients with hormone-dependent breast cancer, a significant fraction of patients exhibit de novo or acquired resistance. Currently, the only accepted mechanism linked with endocrine resistance is amplification or overexpression of the ERBB2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [HER2]) proto-oncogene. Experimental and clinical evidence suggests that hyperactivation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway, the most frequently mutated pathway in breast cancer, promotes antiestrogen resistance. PI3K is a major signaling hub downstream of HER2 and other receptor tyrosine kinases. PI3K activates several molecules involved in cell-cycle progression and survival, and in ER-positive breast cancer cells, it promotes estrogen-dependent and -independent ER transcriptional activity. Preclinical tumor models of antiestrogen-resistant breast cancer often remain sensitive to estrogens and PI3K inhibition, suggesting that simultaneous targeting of the PI3K and ER pathways may be most effective. Herein, we review alterations in the PI3K pathway associated with resistance to endocrine therapy, the state of clinical development of PI3K inhibitors, and strategies for the clinical investigation of such drugs in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.