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Keywords:

  • anastrozole;
  • aromatase inhibitor;
  • biomarker;
  • neoadjuvant;
  • Ki-67;
  • premenopausal breast cancer

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The increasing costs associated with large-scale adjuvant trials mean that the prognostic value of biologic markers is increasingly important. The expression of nuclear antigen Ki-67, a marker of cell proliferation, has been correlated with treatment efficacy and is being investigated for its value as a predictive marker of therapeutic response. In the current study, the authors explored correlations between Ki-67 expression and tumor response, estrogen receptor (ER) status, progesterone receptor (PgR) status, and histopathologic response from the STAGE study (S_tudy of T_amoxifen or A_rimidex, combined with G_oserelin acetate to compare E_fficacy and safety).

METHODS:

In a phase 3, double-blind, randomized trial (National Clinical Trials identifier NCT00605267), premenopausal women with ER-positive, early stage breast cancer received either anastrozole plus goserelin or tamoxifen plus goserelin for 24 weeks before surgery. The Ki-67 index, hormone receptor (ER and PgR) status, and histopathologic responses were determined from histopathologic samples that were obtained from core-needle biopsies at baseline and at surgery. Tumor response was determined by using magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography.

RESULTS:

In total, 197 patients were randomized to receive either anastrozole plus goserelin (n = 98) or tamoxifen plus goserelin (n = 99). The best overall tumor response was better for the anastrozole group compared with the tamoxifen group both among patients who had a baseline Ki-67 index ≥20% and among those who had a baseline Ki-67 index <20%. There was no apparent correlation between baseline ER status and the Ki-67 index in either group. Positive PgR status was reduced from baseline to week 24 in the anastrozole group.

CONCLUSIONS:

In premenopausal women with ER-positive breast cancer, anastrozole produced a greater best overall tumor response compared with tamoxifen regardless of the baseline Ki-67 index. Cancer 2013. © 2012 American Cancer Society.