EZH2 Protein Expression in Estrogen Receptor Positive Invasive Breast Cancer Treated With Neoadjuvant Endocrine Therapy: An Exploratory Study of Association With Tumor Response

Yujun Gan, Yungtai Lo, Della Makower, Celina Kleer, Jinyu Lu, Susan Fineberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Neoadjuvant endocrine therapy (NET) can be used to treat estrogen receptor positive (ER+) invasive breast cancer (IBC). Tumors with Ki67>10% after 2 to 4 weeks of NET are considered resistant to endocrine therapy. Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2) is a targetable oncoprotein and overexpression in ER+ IBC has been linked to resistance to endocrine therapy. We examined whether EZH2 expression levels in ER+ IBC could be used to predict response to NET. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively identified 46 patients with localized ER+ HER2/neu negative IBC treated with a minimum of 4 weeks of NET. We quantified EZH2 nuclear expression in pretherapy core biopsies using a score that included intensity and percent of cells staining. Ki67 was evaluated in both pretherapy core biopsies and posttherapy tumor resections and scored according to the guidelines of the International Ki67 Working Groups, with a global weighted score. Ki67≤10% after NET was considered endocrine responsive. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the association between EZH2 expression and response to NET. Results: We found significant associations of tumor grade (P=0.011), pretherapy Ki67 (P=0.003), and EZH2 (P<0.001), with response to NET. On logistic regression adjusted for tumor grade and pretherapy Ki67, increased EZH2 scores were associated with decreased odds of endocrine responsiveness, defined as posttreatment Ki67≤10% (odds ratio=0.976, 95% CI, 0.956 to 0.997; P=0.026). In addition, with EZH2 score in the model, associations of tumor grade and pretreatment Ki67 with posttreatment Ki67≤10% response to NET became not significant. Conclusions: Our results suggest that EZH2 might be a useful biomarker to predict response to NET.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-622
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology
Volume30
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022

Keywords

  • EZH2
  • Ki67
  • invasive breast cancer
  • neoadjuvant endocrine therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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