21-Gene assay as predictor of chemotherapy benefit in HER2-negative breast cancer

Charles E. Geyer, Gong Tang, Eleftherios P. Mamounas, Priya Rastogi, Soonmyung Paik, Steven Shak, Frederick L. Baehner, Michael Crager, D. Lawrence Wickerham, Joseph P. Costantino, Norman Wolmark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

The NSABP B-20 prospective-retrospective study of the 21-gene Oncotype DX Breast Cancer Recurrence Score® test predicted benefit from addition of chemotherapy to tamoxifen in node-negative, estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer when recurrence score (RS) was ≥31. HER2 is a component of the RS algorithm with a positive coefficient and contributes to higher RS values. Accrual to B-20 occurred prior to routine testing for HER2, so questions have arisen regarding assay performance if HER2-positive patients were identified and excluded. We report an exploratory reanalysis of the B-20, 21-gene study following exclusion of such patients. Patients were considered HER2 positive if quantitative RT-PCR for HER2 was ≥11.5 units, and excluded from re-analyses performed using the original cutoffs: <18, 18–30, ≥31, and the TAILORx cutoffs: <11, 11–25, >25. The endpoint remained distant recurrence-free interval (DRFI) as in the original study. Distribution was estimated via the Kaplan–Meier method and compared via log-rank test. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models estimated chemotherapy benefit in each group. In the RS < 18 and 18–30 groups, 1.7 and 6.7% were HER2 positive. In the RS ≥ 31 group, 41% were HER2 positive. Exclusion resulted in fewer events, with loss of significance for benefit from chemotherapy in the overall HER2-negative cohort (log-rank P = 0.06), but substantial benefit from chemotherapy remained in the RS ≥ 31 cohort (HR = 0.18; 95% CI: 0.07–0.47) and the RS > 25 cohort (HR = 0.28; 95% CI: 0.12–0.64). No benefit from chemotherapy was evident in the other RS groups. Following exclusion of HER2-positive patients based on RT-PCR expression, substantial benefit of chemotherapy remained for RS ≥ 31 as originally employed, and with RS > 25 employed in TAILORx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
Journalnpj Breast Cancer
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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