Impact of serum HER2, TIMP-1, and CAIX on outcome for HER2+ metastatic breast cancer patients: CCTG MA.31 (lapatinib vs. trastuzumab).

Diep Ho, Jessica Huang, Judith-Anne W Chapman, Kim Leitzel, Suhail M Ali, Lois Shepherd, Wendy R Parulekar, Catherine E Ellis, Rocco J Crescnzo, Liting Zhu, Shakeel Virk, Dora Nomikos, Samuel Aparicio, Karen A Gelmon, Walter P Carney, Allan Lipton, Breast cancer research and treatment 164, 571-580 (2017)


The lapatinib-taxane combination led to shorter PFS than trastuzumab-taxane in HER2+ metastatic breast cancer. We investigated the prognostic and predictive effects of pretreatment serum HER2, CAIX, and TIMP-1.

MA.31 accrued 652 patients; 537 (82%) were centrally confirmed HER2+. Biomarkers were categorized for univariate and multivariable predictive investigations with a median cut-point, ULN cut-points (15 ng/ml for HER2; 506 pg/ml for CAIX; 454 pg/ml for TIMP-1), and custom cut-points (30 and 100 ng/ml for HER2). Stratified step-wise forward Cox multivariable analysis examined continuous and categorical effects of biomarkers on PFS in the ITT and central HER2+ populations; central HER2+ biomarker results are shown.

Serum was banked for 472 (72%) of 652 patients. Higher serum HER2 (>median; >15; >30; or >100 ng/ml; p = 0.05-0.002); higher CAIX (>median; >506 pg/ml; p = 0.02; p = 0.001); and higher TIMP-1 (> median; > 454 pg/ml; p = 0.001; p = 0.02) had shorter univariate PFS. In multivariable analysis, higher continuous TIMP-1 was associated with significantly shorter PFS: HR = 1.001 (95% CI = 1.00-01.002; p = 0.004). Continuous serum HER2 and CAIX were not significantly associated with PFS. HER2 of 15 ng/ml or higher had shorter PFS (p = 0.02); higher categorical CAIX had shorter PFS (p = 0.01-0.08). Interaction terms of HER2, CAIX, and TIMP-1 with treatment were not significant; the predictive test power was low.

Higher levels of serum TIMP-1, CAIX, and HER2 were significant prognostic biomarkers of shorter PFS. We found no significant interaction between serum biomarkers and response to lapatinib versus trastuzumab. Evaluation of TIMP-1 and CAIX-targeted therapy in addition to HER2-targeted therapy appears warranted in patients with elevated serum levels of these biomarkers.