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Biomarkers allow doctors to match therapy to patient
Date:4/13/2008

st cancer by half, according to Texas researchers.

In particular, patients with low-expressing HER2 tumors exhibited better response, not only immunologically, but clinically, with decreased breast cancer recurrence and no mortality following vaccination, report researchers from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

The fact that HER2 low-expressors responded so favorably not only underscores the difference in mechanism between the vaccine vs. antibody therapy like trastuzumab, but also offers the hope of additional adjuvant therapy to the largest subset of breast cancer patients if proven in the upcoming phase III trial, said Linda C. Benavides, M.D., a resident in general surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center.

HER2, a source of immunogenic peptides, is over-expressed in approximately 25 to 30 percent of patients with early stage breast cancer.

The CVDP has conducted clinical trials with the HER2 E75-peptide vaccine in lymph nodepositive and lymph nodenegative patients with breast cancer who demonstrated varying levels of HER2 expression.

They conducted a subset analysis of 163 patients with breast cancer enrolled in the E75 vaccine trial to determine whether the level of HER2 expression affected vaccine response. Of 163 patients assessed, 92 underwent vaccination. Within the vaccinated treatment arm, 29 (34 percent) were defined as HER2 over-expressors, and 56 (66 percent) were defined as low-expressors. The 71 patients in the control group included 22 (33 percent) over-expressors and 44 (67 percent) low-expressors. Patients over-expressing HER2 were similar with regard to prognostic and treatment factors, except that a statistically larger number of vaccinated over-expressors had hormone receptornegative tumors (P = 0.02).

Following vaccination, immunologic responses were similar as measured by delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction; however, patients in the vaccination arm who were low-exp
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Contact: Staci Vernick Goldberg
Staci.goldberg@aacr.org
267-646-0616
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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