Identifying ERBB2 Activating Mutations in HER2-Negative Breast Cancer: Clinical Impact of Institute-Wide Genomic Testing and Enrollment in Matched Therapy Trials

JCO Precis Oncol. 2019 Nov 15;3:PO.19.00087. doi: 10.1200/PO.19.00087. eCollection 2019.


Purpose: The yield of comprehensive genomic profiling in recruiting patients to molecular-based trials designed for small subgroups has not been fully evaluated. We evaluated the likelihood of enrollment in a clinical trial that required the identification of a specific genomic change based on our institute-wide genomic tumor profiling.

Patients and methods: Using genomic profiling from archived tissue samples derived from patients with metastatic breast cancer treated between 2011 and 2017, we assessed the impact of systematic genomic characterization on enrollment in an ongoing phase II trial ( identifier: NCT01670877). Our primary aim was to describe the proportion of patients with a qualifying ERBB2 mutation identified by our institutional genomic panel (OncoMap or OncoPanel) who enrolled in the trial. Secondary objectives included median time from testing result to trial registration, description of the spectrum of ERBB2 mutations, and survival. Associations were calculated using Fisher's exact test.

Results: We identified a total of 1,045 patients with metastatic breast cancer without ERBB2 amplification who had available genomic testing results. Of these, 42 patients were found to have ERBB2 mutation and 19 patients (1.8%) were eligible for the trial on the basis of the presence of an activating mutation, 18 of which were identified by OncoPanel testing. Fifty-eight percent of potentially eligible patients were approached, and 33.3% of eligible patients enrolled in the trial guided exclusively by OncoPanel testing.

Conclusion: More than one half of eligible patients were approached for trial participation and, significantly, one third of those were enrolled in NCT01670877. Our data illustrate the ability to enroll patients in trials of rare subsets in routine clinical practice and highlight the need for these broadly based approaches to effectively support the success of these studies.

Associated data