FGFR4 overexpression and hotspot mutations in metastatic ER+ breast cancer are enriched in the lobular subtype

NPJ Breast Cancer. 2019 Jun 27;5:19. doi: 10.1038/s41523-019-0114-x. eCollection 2019.


Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is an understudied subtype of breast cancer that requires novel therapies in the advanced setting. To study acquired resistance to endocrine therapy in ILC, we have recently performed RNA-Sequencing on long-term estrogen deprived cell lines and identified FGFR4 overexpression as a top druggable target. Here, we show that FGFR4 expression also increases dramatically in endocrine-treated distant metastases, with an average fold change of 4.8 relative to the paired primary breast tumor for ILC, and 2.4-fold for invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). In addition, we now report that FGFR4 hotspot mutations are enriched in metastatic breast cancer, with an additional enrichment for ILC, suggesting a multimodal selection of FGFR4 activation. These data collectively support the notion that FGFR4 is an important mediator of endocrine resistance in ILC, warranting future mechanistic studies on downstream signaling of overexpressed wild-type and mutant FGFR4.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Metastasis.