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Pinhel I.,The Institute of Cancer Research | Hills M.,The Royal Marsden Hospital | Drury S.,The Royal Marsden Hospital | Drury S.,The Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Center | And 29 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research

Introduction: Estrogen receptor-α (ER) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positivity are inversely correlated by standard criteria. However, we investigated the quantitative relation between ER and HER2 expression at both RNA and protein levels in HER2+ve and HER2-ve breast carcinomas.Methods: ER and HER2 levels were assessed with immunohistochemistry (IHC) and (for HER2) fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (q-RT-PCR) in formalin-fixed primary breast cancers from 448 patients in the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Adjuvant Breast Cancer Trial (ABC) tamoxifen-only arm. Relations at the RNA level were assessed in 1,139 TransATAC tumors.Results: ER and HER2 RNA levels were negatively correlated as expected in HER2+ve (IHC 3+ and/or FISH-amplified) tumors (r = -0.45; P = 0.0028). However, in HER2-ve tumors (ER+ve and ER-ve combined), a significant positive correlation was found (r = 0.43; P < 0.0001), HER2 RNA levels being 1.74-fold higher in ER+ve versus ER-ve tumors. This correlation was maintained in the ER+veHER2-ve subgroup (r = 0.24; P = 0.0023) and confirmed in this subgroup in 1,139 TransATAC tumours (r = 0.25; P < 0.0001). The positive relation extended to IHC-detected ER in ABC: mean ± 95% confidence interval (CI) H-scores were 90 ± 19 and 134 ± 19 for 0 and 1+ HER2 IHC categories, respectively (P = 0.0013). A trend toward lower relapse-free survival (RFS) was observed in patients with the lowest levels of ER and HER2 RNA levels within the ER+veHER2-ve subgroup both for ABC and TransATAC cohorts.Conclusions: ER and HER2 expression is positively correlated in HER2-ve tumors. The distinction between HER2+ve and HER2-ve is greater in ER-ve than in ER+ve tumors. These findings are important to consider in clinical trials of anti-HER2 and anti-endocrine therapy in HER2-ve disease. Trial Registration: Clinical trial identifier: ISRCTN31514446. © 2012 Dowsett et al.; (Should this be Pinhel et al?) licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Kurelac I.,Dip. di Science Mediche e Chirurgiche | MacKay A.,The Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Center | Lambros M.B.K.,The Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Center | Cesare E.D.,Dip. di Science Mediche e Chirurgiche | And 10 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations leading to the disruption of respiratory complex I (CI) have been shown to exhibit anti-tumorigenic effects, at variance with those impairing only the function but not the assembly of the complex, which appear to contribute positively to cancer development. Owing to the challenges in the analysis of the multi-copy mitochondrial genome, it is yet to be determined whether tumour-associated mtDNA lesions occur as somatic modifying factorsor as germ-line predisposing elements. Here we investigated the whole mitochondrial genome sequence of 20 pituitary adenomas with oncocytic phenotype and identified pathogenic and/or novel mtDNA mutations in 60% of the cases. Using highly sensitive techniques, namely fluorescent PCR and allele-specific locked nucleic acid quantitative PCR, we identified the most likely somatic nature of these mutations in our sample set, since none of the mutations was detected in the corresponding blood tissue of the patients analysed. Furthermore, we have subjected a series of 48 pituitary adenomas to a high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization analysis, which revealed that CI disruptive mutations, and the oncocytic phenotype, significantly correlate with low number of chromosomal aberrations in the nuclear genome. We conclude that CI disruptive mutations in pituitary adenomas are somatic modifiers of tumorigenesis most likely contributing not only to the development of oncocytic change, but also to a less aggressive tumour phenotype, as indicated by a stable karyotype. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

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