The Hippo transducer TAZ as a biomarker of pathological complete response in HER2-positive breast cancer patients treated with trastuzumab-based neoadjuvant therapy

Patrizia Vici, Marcella Mottolese, Laura Pizzuti, Maddalena Barba, Francesca Sperati, Irene Terrenato, Anna Di Benedetto, Clara Natoli, Teresa Gamucci, Domenico Angelucci, Maria Teresa Ramieri, Luigi Di Lauro, Domenico Sergi, Monica Bartucci, Rosanna Dattilo, Alfredo Pagliuca, Ruggero De Maria, Marcello Maugeri-Saccà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Activation of the Hippo transducer TAZ is emerging as a novel oncogenic route in breast cancer and it has been associated with breast cancer stem cells. Additionally, TAZ expression has been linked with HER-2 positivity. We investigated the association between TAZ expression and pathological complete response in HER2-positive breast cancer patients treated with trastuzumab-based neoadjuvant therapy. TAZ was assessed in diagnostic core biopsies by immunohistochemistry. To categorize samples with low TAZ and samples with high TAZ we generated a score by combining staining intensity and cellular localization. The pathological complete response rate was 78.6% in patients with low TAZ tumors and 57.6% in patients with high TAZ tumors (p=0.082). In HER2-enriched tumors there was no significant association between TAZ and pathological complete response, whereas in the luminal B subtype the pathological complete response rate was 82.4% in tumors with low TAZ and 44.4% in tumors with high TAZ (p=0.035). This association remained statistically significant when restricting our analysis to triple-positive tumors with expression of both estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor ≥ 50% (p=0.035). Results from this exploratory study suggest that the TAZ score efficiently predicts pathological complete response in Luminal B, HER2-positive breast cancer patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and trastuzumab.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9619-9625
Number of pages7
JournalOncotarget
Volume5
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • HER2-positive breast cancer
  • Hippo pathway
  • Neoadjuvant therapy
  • Pathological complete response
  • TAZ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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