Identification of BRCA1-like triple-negative breast cancers by quantitative multiplex-ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis of BRCA1-associated chromosomal regions: A validation study

Eva Gross, Harm Tinteren, Zhou Li, Sandra Raab, Christina Meul, Stefanie Avril, Nadja Laddach, Michaela Aubele, Corinna Propping, Apostolos Gkazepis, Manfred Schmitt, Alfons Meindl, Petra M. Nederlof, Marion Kiechle, Esther H. Lips

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Background: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) with a BRCA1-like molecular signature has been demonstrated to remarkably respond to platinum-based chemotherapy and might be suited for a future treatment with poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. In order to rapidly assess this signature we have previously developed a multiplex-ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA)-based assay. Here we present an independent validation of this assay to confirm its important clinical impact. Methods: One-hundred-forty-four TNBC tumor specimens were analysed by the MLPA-based "BRCA1-like" test. Classification into BRCA1-like vs. non-BRCA1-like samples was performed by our formerly established nearest shrunken centroids classifier. Data were subsequently compared with the BRCA1-mutation/methylation status of the samples. T-lymphocyte infiltration and expression of the main target of PARP inhibitors, PARP1, were assessed on a subset of samples by immunohistochemistry. Data acquisition and interpretation was performed in a blinded manner. Results: In the studied TNBC cohort, 63 out of 144 (44 %) tumors were classified into the BRCA1-like category. Among these, the MLPA test correctly predicted 15 out of 18 (83 %) samples with a pathogenic BRCA1-mutation and 20 of 22 (91 %) samples exhibiting BRCA1-promoter methylation. Five false-negative samples were observed. We identified high lymphocyte infiltration as one possible basis for misclassification. However, two falsely classified BRCA1-mutated tumors were also characterized by rather non-BRCA1-associated histopathological features such as borderline ER expression. The BRCA1-like vs. non-BRCA1-like signature was specifically enriched in high-grade (G3) cancers (90 % vs. 58 %, p = 0.0004) and was also frequent in tumors with strong (3+) nuclear PARP1 expression (37 % vs. 16 %; p = 0.087). Conclusions: This validation study confirmed the good performance of the initial MLPA assay which might thus serve as a valuable tool to select patients for platinum-based chemotherapy regimens. Moreover, frequent PARP1 upregulation in BRCA1-like tumors may also point to susceptibility to treatment with PARP inhibitors. Limitations are the requirement of high tumor content and high-quality DNA.

Originele taal-2Engels
Artikelnummer811
TijdschriftBMC Cancer
Volume16
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 19 okt. 2016
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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