Comprehensive genomic analysis identifies novel subtypes and targets of triple-negative breast cancer

Matthew D. Burstein, Anna Tsimelzon, Graham M. Poage, Kyle R. Covington, Alejandro Contreras, Suzanne A W Fuqua, Michelle I. Savage, C. Kent Osborne, Susan G. Hilsenbeck, Jenny C. Chang, Gordon B. Mills, Ching C. Lau, Powel H. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

460 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Genomic profiling studies suggest that triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease. In this study, we sought to define TNBC subtypes and identify subtype-specific markers and targets. Experimental Design: RNA and DNA profiling analyses were conducted on 198 TNBC tumors [estrogen receptor (ER) negativity defined as Allred scale value ≤2] with >50% cellularity (discovery set: n = 84; validation set: n = 114) collected at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX). An external dataset of seven publically accessible TNBC studies was used to confirm results. DNA copy number, disease-free survival (DFS), and disease-specific survival (DSS) were analyzed independently using these datasets. Results: We identified and confirmed four distinct TNBC subtypes: (i) luminal androgen receptor (AR; LAR), (ii) mesenchymal (MES), (iii) basal-like immunosuppressed (BLIS), and (iv) basal-like immune-activated (BLIA). Of these, prognosis is worst for BLIS tumors and best for BLIA tumors for both DFS (log-rank test: P = 0.042 and 0.041, respectively) and DSS (log-rank test: P = 0.039 and 0.029, respectively). DNA copy number analysis produced two major groups (LAR and MES/BLIS/BLIA) and suggested that gene amplification drives gene expression in some cases [FGFR2 (BLIS)]. Putative subtype-specific targets were identified: (i) LAR: androgen receptor and the cell surface mucin MUC1, (ii) MES: growth factor receptors [platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor A; c-Kit], (iii) BLIS: an immunosuppressing molecule (VTCN1), and (iv) BLIA: Stat signal transduction molecules and cytokines. Conclusion: There are four stable TNBC subtypes characterized by the expression of distinct molecular profiles that have distinct prognoses. These studies identify novel subtype-specific targets that can be targeted in the future for the effective treatment of TNBCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1688-1698
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Volume21
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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