Predictors of fulvestrant long-term benefit in hormone receptor-positive/HER2 negative advanced breast cancer

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We retrospectively investigated in women treated with fulvestrant for HR+/HER2 negative advanced breast cancer clinical, pathological and molecular features associated with long-term benefit from treatment defined as being progression-free at 18 months. Specifically, we analyzed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor samples ESR1 and PI3KCA mutations and miRNAs profiles. 59 patients were evaluable (median age of 67 years, range 32–92). 18-month PFS rate was 27%; the lack of visceral metastases significantly predicted the likelihood of being progression-free at 18 months, while PI3KCA mutations, found in 36% of patients, were not associated with 18-month PFS. As of miRNAs, miR-549a, miR-644a, miR-16-5p were negatively while let-7c-5p was positively associated with 18-month PFS. In addition, miR-520d-3p and miR-548g-3p values were significantly lower while miR-603, miR-181a-5p and miR-199a-miR-199b-3p values were significantly higher in patients achieving 18-month PFS. In silico analysis of targets modulated by these two latter groups of miRNAs show that in patients achieving 18-month PFS the Hippo and Wnt signaling pathways were predicted to be upregulated while endocrine resistance was potentially repressed by miR-603, miR-181a-5p and miR-199a-miR-199b-3p. Our results provide additional clues on the molecular mechanisms involved in fulvestrant activity and resistance. Underlying pathways should be further elucidated and confirmed in larger cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12789
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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