Relationship between IHC4 score and response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
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AIMS: To determine whether IHC4 score assessed on pre-treatment core biopsies (i) predicts response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in ER-positive (ER+) breast cancer; (ii) provides more predictive information than Ki67 alone. METHODS: 113 patients with ER+ primary breast cancer treated with neo-adjuvant chemotherapy at the Royal Marsden Hospital between 2002 and 2010 were included in the study. Pathologic assessment of the excision specimen was made for residual disease. IHC4 was determined on pre-treatment core biopsies, blinded to clinical outcome, by immunohistochemistry using quantitative scoring of ER (H-score), PgR (%) and Ki67 (%). Determination of HER2 status was made by immunohistochemistry and fluorescent in situ hybridization for 2+ cases. IHC4 and Ki67 scores were tested for their association with pathological complete response (pCR) rate and residual cancer burden (RCB) score. RESULTS: 18 (16%) of the 113 patients and 8 (9%) of the 88 HER2-ve cases achieved pCR. Ki67 and IHC4 score were both positively associated with achievement of pCR (P < 10(-7) and P < 10(-9), respectively) and RCB0+1 (P < 10(-5) and P < 10(-9), respectively) following neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in all patients. Rates of pCR+RCB1 were 45 and 66% in the highest quartiles of Ki67 and IHC4 scores, respectively. In ER+HER2-ve cases, pCR+RCB1 rates were 35% and in the highest quartile of both Ki67 and IHC4. There were no pCRs in the lower half of IHC4 or Ki67 scores. CONCLUSIONS: IHC4 was strongly predictive of pCR or near pCR in ER+ breast cancers following neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. Ki67 was an important component of this predictive ability, but was not as predictive as IHC4.
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Breast Cancer Res Treat, 2017, 164 (2), pp. 395 - 400