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RNA disruption and drug response in breast cancer primary systemic therapy

By Kenneth Pritzker, Laura Pritzker, Daniele Generali, Alberto Bottini, Maria Rosa Cappelletti, Baoqing Guo, Amadeo Parissenti and Maureen Trudeau


BACKGROUND: \ud As there is now evidence that switching clinical nonresponders early in primary systemic therapy to alternate treatment regimens can enhance survival in some breast cancer patients, the need for a robust intermediate endpoint that can guide treatment response across all tumor subtypes is urgent. Recently, chemotherapy drugs have been shown to induce a decrease in RNA quality in tumor cells from breast cancer biopsies in some patients at midtherapy, and that this has been associated with subsequent achievement of pathological complete response (pCR). The decrease in RNA quality has been shown to be associated with RNA disruption; aberrant RNA bands visualized by RNA electrophoresis have been associated with subsequent tumor cell death. The objectives of these studies are to show that a new assay based on induction of RNA disruption in tumor cells by chemotherapy can stratify at midtherapy, pCR responders from non-pCR responders irrespective of clinical response and to present early evidence that clinically useful RNA disruption can be detected as early as 14 days after initiation of treatment.\ud METHODS: \ud RNA disruption in tumor cells was quantified by analysis of the RNA electrophoresis banding pattern and expressed as an RNA disruption index (RDI). To develop the RNA disruption assay (RDA), RDI was correlated with clinical outcome (pCR) from the NCIC-CTG MA.22 breast cancer clinical trial ( NCT00066443). RDA Zones were established by stratifying patients using RDI values into Zone 1, Zone 2, and Zone 3. Zone 3 included seven out of eight pCR responders, whereas Zone 1 contained no pCR responders. An intermediate zone (Zone 2) was established which contained one pCR. Subsequently, to determine early drug response, RNA disruption was examined by RDI after 14 days exposure to trastuzumab, zoledronic acid, or letrozole + cyclophosphamide ± sorafenib therapy.\ud RESULTS: \ud In MA.22, RDA stratified 23 of 85 patients in Zone 1 as pCR nonresponders, 24 patients in Zone 2, an intermediate zone, and 38 patients in Zone 3, pCR responders and non-pCR patients who share RDI comparable to those achieving pCR. In the early response studies, after 14 days exposure to chemotherapy, some RNA disruption as measured by RDI elevation could be detected in 3/12 trastuzumab, 7/15 zoledronic acid, 5/29 letrozole + cyclophosphamide, and 5/23 letrozole + cyclophosphamide + sorafenib patients.\ud CONCLUSIONS: \ud RDA is a novel intermediate endpoint that has promise for clinical utility for breast cancers early in response-guided primary systemic therapy

Topics: Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Breast Neoplasms, Chemotherapy, Adjuvant, Disease-Free Survival, Electrophoresis, Capillary, Female, Humans, Neoadjuvant Therapy, RNA Stability, RNA, Neoplasm, Remission Induction, Treatment Outcome, Oncology, Cancer Research
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.1093/jncimonographs
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