miR-21 Expression in Cancer Cells may Not Predict Resistance to Adjuvant Trastuzumab in Primary Breast Cancer

Boye Schnack Nielsen, Eva Balslev, Tim Svenstrup Poulsen, Dorte Nielsen, Trine Møller, Christiane Ehlers Mortensen, Kim Holmstrøm, Estrid Høgdall

23 Citationer (Scopus)

Abstract

Trastuzumab is established as standard care for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer both in the adjuvant and metastatic setting. However, 50% of the patients do not respond to the trastuzumab therapy, and therefore new predictive biomarkers are highly warranted. MicroRNAs (miRs) constitute a new group of biomarkers and their cellular expression can be determined in tumor samples by in situ hybridization (ISH) analysis. miR-21 is highly prevalent and up-regulated in breast cancer and has been linked to drug resistance in clinical and in vitro settings. To determine expression patterns of miR-21 in high-grade breast cancers, we examined miR-21 expression in 22 HER2-positive tumors and 15 HER2-negative high-grade tumors by ISH. The histological examination indicated that patient samples could be divided into three major expression patterns: miR-21 predominantly in tumor stroma, predominantly in cancer cells, or in both stromal and cancer cells. There was no obvious difference between the HER2-positive and HER2-negative tumors in terms of the miR-21 expression patterns and intensities. To explore the possibility that miR-21 expression levels and/or cellular localization could predict resistance to adjuvant trastuzumab in HER2-positive breast cancer patients, we analyzed additional 16 HER2-positive tumors from patients who were treated with trastuzumab in the adjuvant setting. Eight of the 16 patients showed clinical recurrence and were considered resistant. Examination of the miR-21 expression patterns and intensities revealed no association between the miR-21 scores in the cancer cell population (p = 0.69) or the stromal cells population (p = 0.13) and recurrent disease after adjuvant trastuzumab. Thus, our findings show that elevated miR-21 expression does not predict resistance to adjuvant trastuzumab.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftFrontiers in Oncology
Vol/bind4
Sider (fra-til)207
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2014

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