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Activation of AKT/PKB in breast cancer predicts a worse outcome among endocrine treated patients
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Oncology . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Oncology . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Centre of Surgery and Oncology, Department of Oncology UHL.
2002 (English)In: British Journal of Cancer, ISSN 0007-0920, Vol. 86, no 4, 540-545 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Akt/PKB is a serine/threonine protein kinase that regulates cell cycle progression, apoptosis and growth factor mediated cell survival in association with tyrosine kinase receptors. The protein is a downstream effector of erbB-2 with implications in breast cancer progression and drug resistance in vitro. We aimed to examine the role of Akt-1 in breast cancer patients, by determining whether the expression (Akt-1) and/or activation (pAkt) were related to prognostic markers and survival. The expression of erbB-2, heregulin β1 and Bcl-2 was also assessed by flow cytometry or immunohistochemistry. This study comprised 93 patients, aged < 50 who were treated with tamoxifen and/or goserelin. We found that pAkt was associated with lower S-phase fraction (P = 0.001) and the presence of heregulin β1-expressing stromal cells (P = 0.017). Neither Akt-1 nor pAkt was related with other factors Turnout cells-derived heregulin β1 was found mainly in oestrogen receptor negative (P = 0.026) and node negative (P = 0.005) cases. Survival analysis revealed that pAkt positive patients were more prone to relapse with distant metastasis, independently of S-phase fraction and nodal status (multivariate analysis; P = 0.004). The results suggest that activation of Akt may have prognostic relevance in breast cancer

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 86, no 4, 540-545 p.
Keyword [en]
Breast cancer, endocrine treatment, Akt, PKB, erbB-2, hergulin ß1
National Category
Cancer and Oncology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15031DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6600126OAI: diva2:37682
Available from: 2008-10-10 Created: 2008-10-10 Last updated: 2009-08-20
In thesis
1. Alterations in the PI3K/AKT Signaling Pathway and Response to Adjuvant Treatment in Breast Cancer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Alterations in the PI3K/AKT Signaling Pathway and Response to Adjuvant Treatment in Breast Cancer
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

(PI3K)/AKT signaling pathway could be a cause of therapeutic resistance in breast cancer. The PI3K/AKT pathway controls cell proliferation, cell growth and survival, and its members include oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Alterations in this pathway are frequent in cancer. In this thesis, we aimed to study the biological significance of some of these alterations in a tumor context as well as their clinical value. PIK3CA gene, encoding the PI3K catalytic subunit, was examined for mutations. The tumor suppressor PTEN, that counteracts PI3Kmediated effects, was studied at the protein level whereas amplification of RPS6KB1 (S6K1) and RPS6KB2 (S6K2) genes, encoding two substrates of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) acting downstream PI3K/AKT, was also inspected. AKT phosphorylation or activation (pAKT) was determined by immunohistochemistry. Other factors related with this pathway, such as HER-2, heregulin (HRG) β1, the cell cycle inhibitor p21WAF1/CIP1, the pro-apoptotic factor Bcl-2, and cyclin D1,  were also considered. These studies were perfomed in two patient materials consisting of premenopausal patients that received endocrine treatment (paper I) and postmenopausal patients randomized to receive radiotherapy (RT) or chemotherapy (CMF) in combination with tamoxifen (Tam) or no endocrine treatment (papers II-IV). In the first material, we found that pAKT indicated higher risk of distant recurrence among endocrine treated patients. In the second material HRGβ1 induced accumulation cytoplasmic p21 in vitro and pAKT was associated with cytoplasmic p21 in the tumors. In addition, p21 cellular location identified subgroups of ER+ patients with different responses to tamoxifen. Other alterations such as PIK3CA mutations and PTEN loss were positively associated in this material. PIK3CA mutations lowered the risk for local recurrences while PTEN loss conferred radiosensitivity as a single variable or combined with mutated PIK3CA. PIK3CA mutations and/or PTEN loss was associated with lower S-phase (SPF). Nevertheless, among patients with low proliferating tumors, these alterations predicted higher risk of recurrence in contrast to those with high proliferating tumors. Finally, we found amplification of the S6K1 and S6K2 genes. S6K2 amplification was associated with cyclin D1 gene amplification, predicted poor recurrence-free survival and breast cancer death, and indicated benefit from tamoxifen. On the other hand, S6K1 amplification was associated with HER-2 amplification/overexpression, indicated higher risk of recurrence and was a predictor of poor response to radiotherapy. These results indicate the potential of this pathway as therapeutic source.


Abstract [sv]

Bröstcancer är en vanlig sjukdom och dödsorsak bland kvinnor i Sverige. Könshormonet östrogen tillsammas med cellernas receptorer för hormonet spelar en viktig roll för bröstcancerutvecklingen. Därför behandlas denna sjukdom med anti-hormonella substanser inriktade mot hämning av östrogensyntes/östrogen receptorn. Tamoxifen är den vanligaste formen av anti-östrogenbehandling som används efter operation. Tamoxifenbehandling förbättrar betydligt 5-årsöverlevnaden hos patienter med östrogenreceptorpositiva tumörer. Emellertid finns det patienter som återkommer med metastaser efter en tid. I det här projektet studerar vi andra receptorer samt deras signalvägar som kan aktivera östrogenreceptorn och därmed orsaka tamoxifenresistens.

En sådan receptor är HER-2 vilken överuttrycks i 15-20% vid bröstumörer. HER-2 receptorn kan rekrytera proteiner med enzymatisk aktivitet, till exempel PI3K. PI3K aktiverar ett annat enzym, AKT, vilket är inblandat i en kaskad som leder till tumörtillväxt och tumöröverlevnad (genom till exempel aktivering av östrogenreceptorn). Våra resultat hitills visar att patienter med aktiverat AKT (pAKT) har större risk att få metastaser och därmed sämre överlevnad än patienter utan pAKT, detta trots hormonell behandling. I större material där HER-2 proteinuttrycket korrelerar med pAKT har vi också funnit att patienter med AKTnegativa tumörer kunde dra nytta av både tamoxifen och strålbehandling. Vi har även undersökt PIK3CA genen (som kodar för en del av PI3K) och hittat mutationer i 24% av bröstumörerna. Det är dock ännu oklart hur dessa mutationer ska tas hänsyn till för att kunna bestämma en effektiv behandling. PTEN är ett annat enzym som motverkar PI3K-aktivitet. Bortfall av PTEN förekommer ofta i bröstcancer och  har associerats med PI3K/AKT aktivering. I vårt material var PTEN-förlust frekvent (37%) och associerades med PIK3CA mutationer. PTEN förlust som ensam faktor eller tillsammans med PIK3CA mutationer ökade strålkänslighet. Andra proteiner som är inblandade i PI3K signalvägen är S6K1 och S6K2 och dessa har betydelse för cellens proteinsyntes. Nyligen har vi kunnat visa att generna för både S6K1/2 finns i många kopior (genamplifering) I tumörcellerna hos bröstcancerpatienter. Dessutom fanns det ett positivt samband mellan S6K1/2 amplifiering och amplifiering av andra kända cancergener (som t. ex HER-2 och cyclin D1) men förhållandet till PIK3CA-mutationer var det omvända. Patienter med antigen S6K1 eller HER-2 amplifierade tumörer svarade dåligt på strålbehandling men skulle möjligen kunna behandlas med en specifik substans riktad mot S6K1 eller HER-2. Ett ökat antal kopior av S6K2 indikerade dålig prognos men bra nytta av tamoxifen. Våra resultat visar att PI3K/AKT signalvägen ofta är aktiverad vid bröstcancer och skulle kunna vara en viktig måltavla för behandling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Link: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2008. 105 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1078
National Category
Cancer and Oncology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15043 (URN)978-91-7393-810-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-10-03, Eken, Hälsouniversitetet, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2008-10-13 Created: 2008-10-13 Last updated: 2009-08-21Bibliographically approved

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Pérez-Tenorio, GizehStål, Olle
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