Predictive Role of CD36 Expression in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Neoadjuvant Trastuzumab
Background Despite huge efforts to identify biomarkers associated with long-term clinical outcomes in patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer (HER2+ BC) treated with (neo)adjuvant anti-HER2 therapy, no reliable predictors have been identified so far. Fatty acid uptake, a process mediated by the transmembrane transporter CD36, has recently emerged as a potential determinant of resistance to anti-HER2 treatments in preclinical HER2+ BC models. Methods Here, we investigated the association between baseline intratumor CD36 gene expression and event-free survival in 180 patients enrolled in the phase III trial Neoadjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimization (NeoALTTO), which randomly assigned stage II-III HER2+ BC patients to receive neoadjuvant lapatinib, trastuzumab, or lapatinib-trastuzumab in combination with chemotherapy. To this aim, we selected NeoALTTO trial patients for whom pretreatment whole transcriptomic data were available. The main study results were validated in an independent cohort of patients enrolled in the neoadjuvant phase II trial NeoSphere. Results In 180 NeoALTTO patients, high intratumor CD36 expression was independently associated with worse event-free survival in patients treated with trastuzumab-based therapy (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.20 to 2.46), but not with lapatinib-based (HR = 1.02, 95% CI = 0.68 to 1.53) or trastuzumab-lapatinib–based (HR = 1.08, 95% CI = 0.60 to 1.94) therapy. Among 331 NeoSphere patients evaluated, high CD36 expression was independently associated with worse patient disease-free survival in both the whole study cohort (HR = 1.197, 95% CI = 1.002 to 1.428) and patients receiving trastuzumab-based neoadjuvant therapy (HR = 1.282, 95% CI = 1.049 to 1.568). Conclusions High CD36 expression predicts worse clinical outcomes in early-stage HER2+ BC treated with trastuzumab-based neoadjuvant therapy.
CD36 expression; Breast cancer; Neoadjuvant trastuzumab
Ligorio F, Di Cosimo S, Verderio P, Ciniselli CM, Pizzamiglio S, Castagnoli L, et al. Predictive Role of CD36 Expression in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Neoadjuvant Trastuzumab. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2022 Dec;114(12):1720–7.
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