Breast Cancer Patients Who Lack RB Gene Respond Better to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy
Breast cancer patients whose tumors lacked the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene (RB) had an improved pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson report in a retrospective study published in a recent online issue of Clinical Cancer Research.
Many breast cancer patients undergo neoadjuvant therapy to reduce the size or extent of the cancer before surgical intervention. Complete response of the tumor to such treatment signifies an improved overall prognosis. Today, no marker is applied to identify tumors which will respond to such treatment, and as a result, only a subset of patients exhibit benefit from it.
RB loss was associated, the team found, with an improved response to all the neoadjuvant regimens investigated in the major subtypes of breast cancer.
“Together, these data indicate that the loss of RB, which occurs relatively frequently in locally advanced disease, could be a useful tool for defining patients who experience an improved response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy,” said Dr. Witkiewicz. “Based on these findings, we have initiated a prospective clinical trial at Jefferson, evaluating the association of RB and another marker, PTEN, with the response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.”
For more information, contact: Steve Graff, Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals, 211 South 9th Street, Suite 310, Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 955-5291, (215) 955-5008 fax, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.