Background: Possible targeted therapies for metastatic triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) include cytotoxic chemotherapy that causes interstrand breaks (platinum-based drugs). The excision repair cross-complementation 1 (ERCC1) enzyme plays an essential role in the nucleotide excision repair pathway, removing platinum-induced DNA adducts and contributing to cisplatin resistance. Detecting ERCC1 overexpression is important in considering treatment options for metastatic TNBC, including individualized approaches to therapy, and may facilitate improved responses or reduction of unnecessary toxicity. We hypothesized that assigning cisplatin based on pretreatment ERCC1 expression would improve response and survival. This study was conducted to assess the impact of ERCC1 expression on PFS, OS and response rates in metastatic triple negative breast cancer patients treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. Methods: From June 2012 to November 2013, 52 metastatic triple negative breast cancer patients were enrolled. ERCC1 protein expression was detected from pretreatment biopsies by Immunohistochemistry. All patients received cisplatin plus paclitaxel. The primary end point was the impact of ERCC1 expression on PFS and OS. Results: 34 patients (65.4%) showed positive ERCC1 expression while 18 (34.6%) proved negative. Positive ERCC1 expression was associated with short PFS (median, 5 months vs. 7 months; P = 0.043), short OS (median, 9 months vs. 11 months; P = 0.033) and poor response to cisplatin based chemotherapy (P = 0.046). Conclusions: This prospective study further validated ERCC1 as a reliable biomarker for customized chemotherapy in metastatic triple negative breast cancer patients. High expression of ERCC1 was thereby fond to be significantly associated with poor outcome in patients treated with platinum based chemotherapy.
Keywords: ERCC1; triple negative; metastatic; breast.
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