Comprehensive genomic analysis identifies novel subtypes and targets of triple-negative breast cancer

Matthew D. Burstein, Anna Tsimelzon, Graham M. Poage, Kyle R. Covington, Alejandro Contreras, Suzanne A.W. Fuqua, Michelle I. Savage, C. Kent Osborne, Susan G. Hilsenbeck, Jenny C. Chang, Gordon B. Mills, Ching C. Lau, Powel H. Brown

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    338 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Purpose: Genomic profiling studies suggest that triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease. In this study, we sought to define TNBC subtypes and identify subtype-specific markers and targets. Experimental Design: RNA and DNA profiling analyses were conducted on 198 TNBC tumors [estrogen receptor (ER) negativity defined as Allred scale value ≤2] with >50% cellularity (discovery set: n = 84; validation set: n = 114) collected at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX). An external dataset of seven publically accessible TNBC studies was used to confirm results. DNA copy number, disease-free survival (DFS), and disease-specific survival (DSS) were analyzed independently using these datasets. Results: We identified and confirmed four distinct TNBC subtypes: (i) luminal androgen receptor (AR; LAR), (ii) mesenchymal (MES), (iii) basal-like immunosuppressed (BLIS), and (iv) basal-like immune-activated (BLIA). Of these, prognosis is worst for BLIS tumors and best for BLIA tumors for both DFS (log-rank test: P = 0.042 and 0.041, respectively) and DSS (log-rank test: P = 0.039 and 0.029, respectively). DNA copy number analysis produced two major groups (LAR and MES/BLIS/BLIA) and suggested that gene amplification drives gene expression in some cases [FGFR2 (BLIS)]. Putative subtype-specific targets were identified: (i) LAR: androgen receptor and the cell surface mucin MUC1, (ii) MES: growth factor receptors [platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor A; c-Kit], (iii) BLIS: an immunosuppressing molecule (VTCN1), and (iv) BLIA: Stat signal transduction molecules and cytokines. Conclusion: There are four stable TNBC subtypes characterized by the expression of distinct molecular profiles that have distinct prognoses. These studies identify novel subtype-specific targets that can be targeted in the future for the effective treatment of TNBCs.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1688-1698
    Number of pages11
    JournalClinical Cancer Research
    Volume21
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research

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    Burstein, M. D., Tsimelzon, A., Poage, G. M., Covington, K. R., Contreras, A., Fuqua, S. A. W., Savage, M. I., Osborne, C. K., Hilsenbeck, S. G., Chang, J. C., Mills, G. B., Lau, C. C., & Brown, P. H. (2015). Comprehensive genomic analysis identifies novel subtypes and targets of triple-negative breast cancer. Clinical Cancer Research, 21(7), 1688-1698. https://doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-0432