The purpose of the study was to test the efficacy of neoadjuvant palbociclib therapy and to evaluate its impact on cell cycle arrest and changes in EndoPredict (EP) scores before and after treatment. Postmenopausal women with histologically proven ER+ve, HER2-ve invasive breast cancer, 2 cm or greater, were enrolled in an open-label, single-arm study. Twenty eligible patients were given letrozole 2.5 mg per day together with palbociclib 125 mg per day for 3 out of 4 weeks in repeated cycles for 16 weeks (4 cycles) before surgery. The primary end points were clinical response rates (cRR) and preoperative endocrine prognostic index (PEPI). The secondary end points were pathologic response and gene expression testing with EP test on collected tumor samples. The following results were obtained. 17 patients showed a clinical response of 50% or more, including 8 complete responses and 9 partial responses. There was significant reduction in area (P < 0.0001) and volume (P = 0.017) of the cancer. Pathologic complete response (pCR) was achieved in one patient; all cancers were downgraded after treatment. Ki67 (P = 0.044) and EP scores (P < 0.0001) were significantly reduced after treatment. Analysis of the relative gene expression levels showed that all proliferative genes, IL6ST and RBBP8 were decreased after palbociclib treatment. 6 patients with intermediate and three patients with high PEPI risk scores were found to have low EPclin scores. All patients with high PEPI relapse risk score had high EPclin score. In conclusion, effective clinical response was demonstrated by neoadjuvant letrozole in combination with palbociclib. Compared with PEPI, EPclin might be a better parameter to estimate prognosis after neoadjuvant therapy.
Keywords: EndoPredict; breast cancer; letrozole; neoadjuvant; palbociclib.
© 2018 The authors.