Purpose: Preplanned exploratory analyses were performed to identify biomarkers in circulating tumor cells (CTC) predictive of response to the topoisomerase 1 inhibitor etirinotecan pegol (EP). Experimental Design: The BEACON trial treated patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) with EP or treatment of physician's choice (TPC). Blood from 656 of 852 patients (77%) was processed with ApoStream to enrich for CTCs. A multiplex immunofluorescence assay measured expression of candidate response biomarkers [topoisomerase 1 (Top1), topoisomerase 2 (Top2), Ki67, RAD51, ABCG2, gH2AX, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)] in CTCs. Patients were classified as Top1 low (Top1Lo) or Top1 high (Top1Hi) based on median CTC Top1 expression. Correlation of CTC biomarker expression at baseline, cycle 2 day 1 (C2D1), and cycle 4 day 1 with overall survival (OS) was investigated using Cox regression and Kaplan–Meier analyses. Results: Overall, 98% of samples were successfully processed, of which 97% had detectable CTCs (median, 47–63 CTCs/mL; range, 0–2,020 CTCs/mL). Top1, Top2, and TUNEL expression was detected in 52% to 90% of samples; no significant associations with OS were observed in pretreatment samples for either group. EP-treated patients with low C2D1Top1þ CTCs had improved OS compared with those with higher positivity (14.1 months vs. 11.0 months, respectively; HR, 0.7; P ¼ 0.02); this difference was not seen in TPC-treated patients (HR, 1.12; P ¼ 0.48). Patients whose CTCs decreased from Top1Hi to Top1Lo at C2D1 had the greatest OS benefit from EP (HR, 0.57; P ¼ 0.01). Conclusions: CTC Top1 expression following EP treatment may identify patients with MBC most likely to have an OS benefit.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research