Jørgensen, Charlotte Levin Tykjær2; Bjerre, Christina Annette3; Ejlertsen, Bent Laursen6; Bjerre, Karsten D.5; Balslev, Eva6; Bartels, Annette7; Brünner, Nils7; Nielsen, Dorte L.2
1 Molecular Disease Biology, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Herlev University Hospital3 unknown4 Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet5 Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group6 Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet7 Molecular Disease Biology, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
results from a randomized phase III trial from the Danish breast cancer cooperative group
BACKGROUND: Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) has anti-apoptotic functions, which may protect TIMP-1 positive cancer cells from the effects of chemotherapy such as docetaxel and gemcitabine. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate TIMP-1 immunoreactivity as a prognostic and predictive marker in advanced breast cancer patients receiving docetaxel (D) or gemcitabine plus docetaxel (GD). METHODS: Patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer who were assigned to D or GD by participation in a randomized phase III trial were included in the study. Assessment of TIMP-1 status was performed retrospectively on primary tumor whole-tissue sections by immunohistochemistry and tumor samples were considered positive if epithelial breast cancer cells were stained by the anti-TIMP-1 monoclonal antibody VT7. Time to progression (TTP) was the primary endpoint. Overall survival (OS) and response rate (RR) were secondary endpoints. Associations between TIMP-1 status and outcome after chemotherapy were analyzed by Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox proportional hazards regression models. RESULTS: TIMP-1 status was available from 264 of 337 patients and 210 (80%) of the tumors were classified as cancer cell TIMP-1 positive. No significant difference for TTP between TIMP-1 positive versus TIMP-1 negative patients was observed in multivariate analysis, and RR did not differ according to TIMP-1 status. However, patients with TIMP-1 positive tumors had a significant reduction in OS events (hazard ratio = 0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.52-0.98, P = 0.03). Additionally, a borderline significant interaction for OS was observed between TIMP-1 status and benefit from GD compared to D (Pinteraction = 0.06) such that median OS increased by nine months for TIMP-1 negative patients receiving GD. CONCLUSIONS: TIMP-1 status was an independent prognostic factor for OS but not TTP in patients with advanced breast cancer receiving either D or GD. There was no statistically significant interaction between TIMP-1 status and treatment, but a trend towards an incremental OS from the addition of gemcitabine to docetaxel in patients with TIMP-1 negative tumors suggests further investigation.