Background: Several expression array studies identified molecular apocrine breast cancer (BC) as a subtype that expresses androgen receptor (AR) but not estrogen receptor α. We carried out a multicentre single-arm phase II trial in women with AR-positive, estrogen, progesterone receptor and HER2-negative (triple-negative) metastatic or inoperable locally advanced BC to assess the efficacy and safety of abiraterone acetate (AA) plus prednisone.
Patients and methods: Patients with a metastatic or locally advanced, centrally reviewed, triple-negative and AR-positive (≥10% by immunohistochemistry, IHC) BC were eligible. Any number of previous lines of chemotherapy was allowed. AA (1000 mg) was administered once a day with prednisone (5 mg) twice a day until disease progression or intolerance. The primary end point was clinical benefit rate (CBR) at 6 months defined as the proportion of patients presenting a complete response (CR), partial response (PR) or stable disease (SD) ≥6 months. Secondary end points were objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS) and safety.
Results: One hundred and forty-six patients from 27 centres consented for IHC central review. Of the 138 patients with sufficient tissue available, 53 (37.6%) were AR-positive and triple-negative, and 34 of them were included from July 2013 to December 2014. Thirty patients were eligible and evaluable for the primary end point. The 6-month CBR was 20.0% [95% confidence interval (CI) 7.7%-38.6%], including 1 CR and 5 SD ≥6 months, 5 of them still being under treatment at the time of analysis (6.4+, 9.2+, 14.5+, 17.6+, 23.4+ months). The ORR was 6.7% (95% CI 0.8%-22.1%). The median PFS was 2.8 months (95% CI 1.7%-5.4%). Fatigue, hypertension, hypokalaemia and nausea were the most common drug-related adverse events; the majority of them being grade 1 or 2.
Conclusions: AA plus prednisone treatment is beneficial for some patients with molecular apocrine tumours and five patients are still on treatment.
Keywords: abiraterone acetate; androgen receptor; breast cancer; molecular apocrine; triple-negative.
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