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Nielsen K.V.,Dako Denmark | Ejlertsen B.,Copenhagen University | Ejlertsen B.,Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group DBCG Registry | Moller S.,Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group DBCG Registry | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Oncology | Year: 2012

The clinical benefit of anthracyclines has been connected to HER2 status, TOP2A status and centromere 17 copy numbers (CEN-17). Data from a clinical trial randomizing patients to anthracyclines was used to assess whether the number of CEN-17 in breast cancers may predict incremental responsiveness to anthracyclines besides what is obtained when used relatively to TOP2A and HER2. As cut sections of paraffin-embedded tissue are prone to truncation of nuclei, strict definition of ploidy levels is lacking. We therefore used normal breast tissue to assist define ploidy levels in cut sections. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with centromere 17 (CEN-17) and TOP2A was performed on 120 normal breast specimens. The diploid CEN-17 copy number was reduced from the expected two signals in whole nuclei to an average of 1.68 signals per nucleus in cut sections of normal breast. Ploidy levels determined in normal breast were applied to data on 767 patients with known HER2 and TOP2A status randomized to anthracyclines in the DBCG 89D trial. CEN-17 ploidy levels were in cut sections from the 767 breast cancer patients established as: Haploid: ≤1.25 (10%), diploid: 1.26-2.09 (60%), triploid: 2.10-2.93 (21%), tetraploid: 2.94-3.77 (5%) or higher ploidy: ≥3.78 (4%). Amplification of HER2 and deletion of TOP2A were frequently observed in tumors with a high ploidy level. In univariate analyses increasing ploidy was associated with decreased disease-free survival (DFS) (P=0.0001) and overall survival (OS) (P<0.0001). However, in multivariate analysis CEN-17 was not established as an independent prognostic factor and was neither a statistically significant predictor of benefit from CEF (Cyclophosphamide/Epirubicin/5-Fluorouracil) compared to CMF (Cyclophosphamide/Methotrexate/5-Fluorouracil) (P Interaction 0.39 for DFS and 0.67 for OS). In conclusion, CEN-17 levels do not independently from TOP2A/CEN-17 ratio identify breast cancer patients who achieve an incremental benefit from adjuvant anthracyclines. © 2011 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Nielsen K.V.,Dako Denmark | Muller S.,Dako Denmark | Moller S.,Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group DBCG Registry | Schonau A.,Dako Denmark | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Oncology | Year: 2010

Copy number changes in TOP2A have frequently been linked to ERBB2 (HER2) amplified breast cancers. To study this relationship, copy number changes of ERBB2 and TOP2A were investigated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in two cell lines; one characterized by having amplification of both genes and the other by having amplification of ERBB2 and deletion of TOP2A. The characteristics are compared to findings on paired ERBB2 and TOP2A data from 649 patients with invasive breast cancer from a previously published biomarker study. The physical localization of FISH signals in metaphase spreads from cell lines showed that simultaneous amplification is not a simple co-amplification of a whole amplicon containing both genes. Most gene signals are translocated to abnormal marker chromosomes. ERBB2 genes but not TOP2A genes are present in tandem amplicons, leading to a higher ERBB2 ratio. This observation was confirmed by patient FISH data: among 276 (43% of all patients) abnormal tumors, 67% had different ERBB2 and TOP2A status. ERBB2 amplification with normal TOP2A status was found in 36% of the abnormal tumors (15% of all patients). Simultaneous amplification of both genes was found in 28% of the abnormal tumors (12% of all patients) while TOP2A deletion and ERBB2 amplification was observed in 16% of the abnormal cases (8% of all patients). A small number of tumors had TOP2A amplification (4%) or deletion (6%) without simultaneous changes of the ERBB2 gene. ERBB2 deletion was also observed (5%) but only in tumors with simultaneous TOP2A deletion. The average gene/reference ratio was significantly different: 5.0 for TOP2A but 7.2 for ERBB2 in the amplified tumors (P < 0.01). Amplification of the two genes may be caused by different mechanisms, leading to higher level of amplification for ERBB2 compared to TOP2A. In the majority of breast cancer patients, simultaneous aberration of ERBB2 and TOP2A is not explained by simple co-amplification. © 2009 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

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