While the results thus far demonstrate the clinical benefit of trastuzumab in breast cancer (BC), some patients do not respond to this drug. HER2 mRNA, alone or combined with other genes/biomarkers, has been proven to be a powerful predictive marker in several studies. Here, we provide evidence of the association between HER2 mRNA levels and the response to anti-HER2 treatment in HER2-positive BC patients treated with adjuvant trastuzumab and show that this association is independent of estrogen receptor (ER) tumor positivity. While HER2 mRNA expression was significantly correlated with HER2 protein levels in ER-negative tumors, no correlation was found in ER-positive tumors, and HER2 protein expression was not associated with relapse risk. Correlation analyses in the ER-positive subset identified ER activity as the pathway inversely associated with HER2 mRNA. Associations between HER2 levels and oncogene addiction, as well as between HER2 activation and trastuzumab sensitivity, were also observed in vitro in HER2-positive BC cell lines. In ER-positive but not ER-negative BC cells, HER2 transcription was increased by reducing ligand- dependent ER activity or inducing ER degradation. Accordingly, HER2 mRNA levels in patients were found to be inversely correlated with blood levels of estradiol, the natural ligand of ER that induces ER activation. Moreover, low estradiol levels were associated with a lower risk of relapse in HER2- positive BC patients treated with adjuvant trastuzumab. Overall, we found that HER2 mRNA levels, but not protein levels, indicate the HER2 dependency of tumor cells and low estrogen-dependent ER activity in HER2-positive tumors.

HER2 mRNA Levels, Estrogen Receptor Activity and Susceptibility to Trastuzumab in Primary Breast Cancer / T. Triulzi, V. Regondi, E. Venturelli, P. Gasparini, C. Ghirelli, J. Groppelli, M. DI MODICA, F. Bianchi, L. de cecco, L. Sfondrini, E. Tagliabue. - In: CANCERS. - ISSN 2072-6694. - 14:22(2022), pp. 5650.1-5650.17. [10.3390/cancers14225650]

HER2 mRNA Levels, Estrogen Receptor Activity and Susceptibility to Trastuzumab in Primary Breast Cancer

F. Bianchi;L. Sfondrini
Penultimo
;
2022

Abstract

While the results thus far demonstrate the clinical benefit of trastuzumab in breast cancer (BC), some patients do not respond to this drug. HER2 mRNA, alone or combined with other genes/biomarkers, has been proven to be a powerful predictive marker in several studies. Here, we provide evidence of the association between HER2 mRNA levels and the response to anti-HER2 treatment in HER2-positive BC patients treated with adjuvant trastuzumab and show that this association is independent of estrogen receptor (ER) tumor positivity. While HER2 mRNA expression was significantly correlated with HER2 protein levels in ER-negative tumors, no correlation was found in ER-positive tumors, and HER2 protein expression was not associated with relapse risk. Correlation analyses in the ER-positive subset identified ER activity as the pathway inversely associated with HER2 mRNA. Associations between HER2 levels and oncogene addiction, as well as between HER2 activation and trastuzumab sensitivity, were also observed in vitro in HER2-positive BC cell lines. In ER-positive but not ER-negative BC cells, HER2 transcription was increased by reducing ligand- dependent ER activity or inducing ER degradation. Accordingly, HER2 mRNA levels in patients were found to be inversely correlated with blood levels of estradiol, the natural ligand of ER that induces ER activation. Moreover, low estradiol levels were associated with a lower risk of relapse in HER2- positive BC patients treated with adjuvant trastuzumab. Overall, we found that HER2 mRNA levels, but not protein levels, indicate the HER2 dependency of tumor cells and low estrogen-dependent ER activity in HER2-positive tumors.
breast neoplasms; trastuzumab; mRNA; receptors; estrogen; estradiol
Settore MED/04 - Patologia Generale
Settore BIO/17 - Istologia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/946447
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