HER2 over-expressing high grade endometrial cancer expresses high levels of p95HER2 variant.
ABSTRACT: Subsets of high grade endometrial cancer (EnCa) over-express HER2 (ERBB2), yet clinical trials have failed to demonstrate any anti-tumor activity utilizing trastuzumab, an approved platform for HER2 positive breast cancer (BrCa). A truncated p95HER2 variant lacking the trastuzumab binding site may confer resistance. The objective of this investigation was to characterize the expression of the p95HER2 truncated variant in EnCa.With institutional approval, 86 high grade EnCa tumors were identified with tumor specimens from surgeries performed between 2000 and 2011. Clinical data were collected and all specimens underwent tumor genotyping, HER2 immunohistochemistry (IHC, HercepTest®), HER2 fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), along with total HER2 (H2T) and p95HER2 assessment with VeraTag® testing. Regression models were used to compare a cohort of 86 breast tumors selected for equivalent HER2 protein expression.We identified 44 high grade endometrioid and 42 uterine serous carcinomas (USC). IHC identified high HER2 expression (2+ or 3+) in 59% of the tumors. HER2 gene amplification was observed in 16 tumors (12 USC, 4 endometrioid). Both HER2 gene amplification and protein expression correlated with H2T values. High p95HER2 expression above 2.8RF/mm2 was observed in 53% (n=54) with significant correlation with H2T levels. When matched to a cohort of 107 breast tumors based on HercepTest HER2 expression, high grade EnCa presented with higher p95 levels (p<0.001).These data demonstrate that compared to BrCa, high grade EnCa expresses higher levels of p95HER2 possibly providing rationale for the trastuzumab resistance observed in EnCa.
Project description:Trastuzumab is effective in the treatment of HER2/neu over-expressing breast cancer, but not all patients benefit from it. In vitro data suggest a role for HER3 in the initiation of signaling activity involving the AKT–mTOR pathway leading to trastuzumab insensitivity. We sought to investigate the potential of HER3 alone and in the context of p95HER2 (p95), a trastuzumab resistance marker, as biomarkers of trastuzumab escape. Using the VeraTag® assay platform, we developed a dual antibody proximity-based assay for the precise quantitation of HER3 total protein (H3T) from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) breast tumors. We then measured H3T in 89 patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with trastuzumab-based therapy, and correlated the results with progression-free survival and overall survival using Kaplan–Meier and decision tree analyses that also included HER2 total (H2T) and p95 expression levels. Within the sub-population of patients that over-expressed HER2, high levels of HER3 and/or p95 protein expression were significantly associated with poor clinical outcomes on trastuzumab-based therapy. Based on quantitative H3T, p95, and H2T measurements, multiple subtypes of HER2-positive breast cancer were identified that differ in their outcome following trastuzumab therapy. These data suggest that HER3 and p95 are informative biomarkers of clinical outcomes on trastuzumab therapy, and that multiple subtypes of HER2-positive breast cancer may be defined by quantitative measurements of H3T, p95, and H2T.
Project description:In 2009 a prospective, randomized Phase II trial (NCT00842998) was initiated to evaluate the activity of HER2-targeting agents without chemotherapy (CT) in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. The primary tumors of the patients enrolled in this study offered a unique opportunity to identify biomarkers that could predict durable clinical benefit from CT-free anti-HER2 therapy. Patients with HER2-positive MBC were randomized to trastuzumab or lapatinib as first-line therapy. CT was added to anti-HER2 therapy in patients failing to achieve tumor regression at the 8-week evaluation and in those progressing at any time. Expression analysis of 105 selected genes was performed from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary tumor samples. The research-based PAM50 intrinsic subtypes were also identified. Additionally, quantitative HER2 (H2T) and p95HER2 (p95) protein expression were evaluated by HERmark® and VeraTag® assay, respectively. Predictors of persistence on protocol (PP) were studied by Cox univariate and multivariate analysis. Nineteen patients were enrolled. Median overall survival was 43 months and median PP was 3.8 months (0.8-38.8+), with 4 patients (21.1%) persisting on single agent trastuzumab or lapatinib for longer than 12 mo (14.9-38.8 + mo). Seventeen patients were evaluable for PP. Gene expression analysis revealed that high expression of the 17q12-21 amplicon genes HER2 and GRB7, and the PAM50 HER2-enriched intrinsic profile, were significantly associated with longer PP. Conversely, high expression of luminal-related genes such as PGR, MDM2 or PIK3CA, or the PAM50 luminal intrinsic profile correlated with reduced PP. Moreover, increasing H2T/p95 ratio was found to be significantly associated with longer PP (HR 0.56 per 2-fold increase in H2T/p95, P = 0.0015). Our data suggest that patients belonging to the "HER2-enriched" subtype and/or having high H2T/p95 protein expression ratio are exquisitely sensitive to anti-HER2 agents. MBC patients with these tumors could be candidates for studies aimed at establishing chemotherapy-free regimens.
Project description:Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancers are currently treated with trastuzumab, an anti-HER2 antibody. About 30% of these tumors express a group of HER2 fragments collectively known as p95HER2. Our previous work indicated that p95HER2-positive tumors are resistant to trastuzumab monotherapy. However, recent results showed that tumors expressing the most active of these fragments, p95HER2/611CTF, respond to trastuzumab plus chemotherapy. To clarify this discrepancy, we analyzed the response to chemotherapy of cell lines transfected with p95HER2/611CTF and patient-derived xenografts (n = 7 mice per group) with different levels of the fragment. All statistical tests were two-sided. p95HER2/611CTF-negative and positive tumors showed different responses to various chemotherapeutic agents, which are particularly effective on p95HER2/611CTF-positive cells. Furthermore, chemotherapy sensitizes p95HER2/611CTF-positive patient-derived xenograft tumors to trastuzumab (mean tumor volume, trastuzumab alone: 906 mm(3), 95% confidence interval = 1274 to 538 mm(3); trastuzumab+doxorubicin: 259 mm(3), 95% confidence interval = 387 to 131 mm(3); P < .001). This sensitization may be related to HER2 stabilization induced by chemotherapy in p95HER2/611CTF-positive cells.
Project description:PURPOSE:A subgroup of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-overexpressing breast tumors coexpresses p95HER2, a truncated HER2 receptor that retains a highly functional HER2 kinase domain but lacks the extracellular domain and results in intrinsic trastuzumab resistance. We hypothesized that lapatinib, a HER2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor, would be active in these tumors. We have studied the correlation between p95HER2 expression and response to lapatinib, both in preclinical models and in the clinical setting. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Two different p95HER2 animal models were used for preclinical studies. Expression of p95HER2 was analyzed in HER2-overexpressing breast primary tumors from a first-line lapatinib monotherapy study (EGF20009) and a second-line lapatinib in combination with capecitabine study (EGF100151). p95HER2 expression was correlated with overall response rate (complete + partial response), clinical benefit rate (complete response + partial response + stable disease > or =24 wk), and progression-free survival using logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard models. RESULTS:Lapatinib inhibited tumor growth and the HER2 downstream signaling of p95HER2-expressing tumors. A total of 68 and 156 tumors from studies EGF20009 and EGF100151 were evaluable, respectively, for p95HER2 detection. The percentage of p95HER2-positive patients was 20.5% in the EGF20009 study and 28.5% in the EGF100151 study. In both studies, there was no statistically significant difference in progression-free survival, clinical benefit rate, and overall response rate between p95HER2-positive and p95HER2-negative tumors. CONCLUSIONS:Lapatinib as a monotherapy or in combination with capecitabine seems to be equally effective in patients with p95HER2-positive and p95HER2-negative HER2-positive breast tumors.
Project description:Uterine serous carcinoma (USC) is an aggressive subtype of endometrial cancer that commonly harbors HER2 gene amplification. We investigated the effectiveness of HER2 inhibition using lapatinib and trastuzumab in vitro and in xenografts derived from USC cell lines and USC patient-derived xenografts.Immunohistochemistry and FISH were performed to assess HER2 expression in 42 primary USC specimens. ARK1, ARK2, and SPEC2 cell lines were treated with trastuzumab or lapatinib. Cohorts of mice harboring xenografts derived from ARK2 and SPEC2 cell lines and EnCa1 and EnCa2 primary human USC samples were treated with either vehicle, trastuzumab, lapatinib, or the combination of trastuzumab and lapatinib. Acute and chronic posttreatment tumor samples were assessed for downstream signaling alterations and examined for apoptosis and proliferation.HER2 gene amplification (24%) correlated significantly with HER2 protein overexpression (55%). All models were impervious to single-agent trastuzumab treatment. Lapatinib decreased in vitro proliferation of all cell lines and in vivo growth of HER2-amplified xenografts (ARK2, EnCa1). In addition, dual therapy with trastuzumab and lapatinib resulted in significant antitumor activity only in ARK2 and EnCa1 tumors. Dual HER2 therapy induced on target alteration of downstream MAPK and PI3K pathway mediators only in HER2-amplified models, and was associated with increased apoptosis and decreased proliferation.Although trastuzumab alone did not impact USC growth, dual anti-HER2 therapy with lapatinib led to improved inhibition of tumor growth in HER2-amplified USC and may be a promising avenue for future investigation.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive metastatic breast cancer eventually develop resistance to dual-antibody therapy with trastuzumab plus pertuzumab. Mechanisms of resistance have not been well elucidated. We evaluated the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) plus neratinib in patients who progressed on trastuzumab plus pertuzumab.<h4>Patients and methods</h4>In this 3 + 3 dose-escalation study, patients with metastatic breast cancer who progressed on trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and a taxane were treated with T-DM1 at 3.6 mg/kg intravenously every 3 weeks and dose-escalating neratinib at 120, 160, 200, or 240 mg/d orally.<h4>Results</h4>Twenty-seven patients were treated across four dose-levels of neratinib. Dose-limiting toxicity in cycle 1 was grade 3 diarrhea in six patients and grade 3 nausea in one; no patient experienced grade 4 diarrhea, and there were no grade 5 toxicities. Other grade 3 to 4 toxicities included nausea (11%), dehydration (11%), electrolyte abnormality (19%), thrombocytopenia (15%), elevated transaminase levels (7%), and fatigue (7%). Twelve (63%) of 19 evaluable patients had an objective response. Responses occurred at all neratinib doses. Plasma cell-free DNA at baseline showed <i>ERBB2</i> (HER2) amplification in 10 of 27 patients. Deep and more durable responses occurred in patients with cell-free DNA <i>ERBB2</i> amplification. Two complete responders had high expression of total HER2 and p95HER2 in baseline tissue.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We report the recommended phase II dose of T-DM1 3.6 mg/kg and neratinib 160 mg/d for this combination. Possible resistance mechanisms to HER2 antibodies may be loss of the HER2 receptor and high expression of p95HER2. These data provide the basis for an ongoing phase II study to better define the activity of this regimen.
Project description:We evaluated the role of PIK3CA-mutations as mechanism of resistance to trastuzumab in primary HER2/neu-amplified uterine-serous-carcinoma (USC) cell lines.Fifteen whole-exome-sequenced USC cell lines were tested for HER2/neu-amplification and PIK3CA-mutations. Four HER2/neu-amplified USC (2-harbouring wild-type-PIK3CA-genes and 2-harbouring oncogenic-PIK3CA-mutations) were evaluated in in vitro dose-titration-proliferation-assays, cell-viability and HER2 and S6-protein-phosphorylation after exposure to trastuzumab. USC harbouring wild-type-PIK3CA were transfected with plasmids encoding oncogenic PIK3CA-mutations (i.e., H1047R/R93Q) and exposed to trastuzumab. Finally, trastuzumab efficacy was tested by using two USC xenograft mouse models.Seven out of fifteen (46%) of the USC cell lines were HER2/neu-amplified by fluorescence in situ hybridisation. Within these tumours four out of seven (57%) were found to harbour oncogenic PIK3CA-mutations vs two out of eight (25%) of the HER2/neu not amplified cell lines (P=0.01). HER2/neu-amplified/PIK3CA-mutated USC were highly resistant to trastuzumab when compared with HER2/neu-amplified/wild-type-PIK3CA cell lines (P=0.02). HER2/neu-amplified/PIK3CA wild-type cell lines transfected with oncogenic PIK3CA-mutations increased their resistance to trastuzumab (P<0.0001). Trastuzumab was effective in reducing tumour growth (P=0.001) and improved survival (P=0.0001) in mouse xenografts harbouring HER2-amplified/PIK3CA wild-type USC but not in HER2-amplified/PIK3CA-mutated tumours.Oncogenic PIK3CA mutations are common in HER2/neu-amplified USC and may constitute a major mechanism of resistance to trastuzumab treatment.
Project description:Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States, diagnosed in more than 50,000 women annually. While the majority of women present with low-grade tumors that are cured with surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy, a significant subset of women experience recurrence and do not survive their disease. A disproportionate number of the more than 8,000 annual deaths attributed to endometrial cancer are due to high-grade uterine cancers, highlighting the need for new therapies that target molecular alterations specific to this subset of tumors. Numerous correlative scientific investigations have demonstrated that the HER2 (ERBB2) gene is amplified in 17%-33% of carcinosarcoma, uterine serous carcinoma, and a subset of high-grade endometrioid endometrial tumors. In breast cancer, this potent signature has directed women to anti-HER2-targeted therapies such as trastuzumab and lapatinib. In contrast to breast cancer, therapy with trastuzumab alone revealed no responses in women with recurrent HER2 overexpressing endometrial cancer, suggesting that these tumors may possess acquired or innate trastuzumab resistance mechanisms. This review explores the literature surrounding HER2 expression in endometrial cancer, focusing on trastuzumab and other anti-HER2 therapy and resistance mechanisms characterized in breast cancer but germane to endometrial tumors. Understanding resistance pathways will suggest combination therapies that target both HER2 and key oncogenic escape pathways in endometrial cancer.This review summarizes the role of HER2 in endometrial cancer, with a focus on uterine serous carcinoma. The limitations to date of anti-HER2 therapy in this disease site are examined, and mechanisms of drug resistance are outlined based on the experience in breast cancer. Potential opportunities to overcome inherent resistance to anti-HER2 therapy in endometrial cancer are detailed, offering opportunities for further clinical study with the goal to improve outcomes in this challenging disease.
Project description:Amplification of c-erbB2 has been reported in over 30% of uterine serous carcinoma (USC) and found to confer poor survival because of high proliferation and increased resistance to therapy. In this study, we evaluated for the first time Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), a novel antibody-drug conjugate, against multiple epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2)-positive USC cells in vitro followed by developing a supportive in vivo model. Fifteen primary USC cell lines were assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and flow cytometry for HER2 protein expression. C-erbB2 gene amplification was evaluated using fluorescent in situ hybridization. Sensitivity to T-DM1 and trastuzumab (T)-induced antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity was evaluated in 5-h chromium release assays. T-DM1 and T cytostatic and apoptotic activities were evaluated using flow-cytometry-based proliferation assays. In vivo activity of T-DM1 versus T in USC xenografts in SCID mice was also evaluated. High levels of HER2 protein overexpression and HER2 gene amplification were detected in 33% of USC cell lines. T-DM1 was considerably more effective than trastuzumab in inhibiting cell proliferation and in causing apoptosis (P = 0.004) of USC showing HER2 overexpression. Importantly, T-DM1 was highly active at reducing tumor formation in vivo in USC xenografts overexpressing HER2 (P = 0.04) and mice treated with TDM-1 had significantly longer survival when compared to T-treated mice and control mice (P ? 0.0001). T-DM1 shows promising antitumor effect in HER2-positive USC cell lines and USC xenografts and its activity is significantly higher when compared to T. T-DM1 may represent a novel treatment option for HER2-positive USC patients with disease refractory to trastuzumab and traditional chemotherapy.