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Ataseven, Beyhan; Gunesch, Angela; Eiermann, Wolfgang; Kates, Ronald E.; Högel, Bernhard; Knyazev, Pjotr; Ullrich, Axel and Harbeck, Nadia (2014): PTK7 as a potential prognostic and predictive marker of response to adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients, and resistance to anthracycline drugs. In: Oncotargets and Therapy, Vol. 7: pp. 1723-1731 [PDF, 668kB]


Biomarkers predicting resistance to particular chemotherapy regimens could play a key role in optimally individualized treatment concepts. PTK7 (protein tyrosine kinase 7) belongs to the receptor tyrosine kinase family involved in several physiological, but also malignant, cell behaviors. Recent studies in acute myeloid leukemia have associated PTK7 expression with resistance to anthracycline therapy. PTK7 mRNA expression in primary tumor tissue (PTT) and corresponding lymph node tissue (LNT) were retrospectively measured in 117 patients with early breast cancer;PTK7 expression was available in 103 PTT and 108 LNT samples. Median age was 60 years (range, 27-87 years). At a median follow-up of 28.5 months, 6 deaths and 16 recurrences had occurred. PTK7 expression correlations with clinicopathological features were computed and PTK7 expression effects on patient outcome were analyzed in three cohorts defined by adjuvant treatment: anthracycline-based treatment, other chemotherapy regimens (including taxane or other substances),or no chemotherapy. Association of PTK7 expression with clinicopathological features was seen only for age in PTT and nodal stage in LNT. High LN PTK7 was associated with poorer disease-free survival (DFS) in the total population (3-year DFS: low [81.7%] versus high [70.4%];P=0.016) and in patients without adjuvant chemotherapy (3-year DFS: low [91.7%] versus high [22.3%];P<0.001),but not in patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy (P=0.552). DFS stratified by PTK7 expression was compared in treatment cohorts: In patients with low LN PTK7 expression, neither chemotherapy cohort showed significantly better survival than the no-chemotherapy cohort. In patients with high LN PTK7 expression, those receiving chemotherapy, including substances other than anthracyclines, but not those receiving only anthracycline-based chemotherapy, showed significantly better DFS than those receiving no chemotherapy (P=0.001). Our results support earlier findings that PTK7 may be a prognostic and predictive marker associated with resistance to anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Further investigations are needed to validate these findings in breast cancer.

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