Purpose: We examined the prognostic and predictive value of serum human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) extracellular domain (sHER2) in patients with advanced breast cancer treated with lapatinib using data from three randomized trials. Patients and Methods: We analyzed sHER2 and tissue HER2 (tHER2) data from 1,902 patients (84%) who were randomly assigned to receive lapatinib or control in the trials EGF30001, EGF30008, and EGF100151. Cox regression analyses were performed to correlate both biomarkers with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Results: Median sHER2 levels were 25.1 and 10.1 ng/mL in tHER2-amplified (tHER-positive) and non-amplified (tHER-negative) populations, respectively (r = 0.42 for sHER2-tHER2 correlation). Lapatinib had significant PFS benefit over control (hazard ratio [HR], 0.855; P = .004), but not OS (HR, 0.941; P = .33). Lapatinib PFS benefit is independently predicted by higher sHER2 values (HR per 10-ng/mL increase in sHER2: lapatinib-containing therapies, 1.009 v nonlapatinib-containing therapies, 1.044; Pinteraction < .001) and by positive tHER2 (HR [lapatinib v nonlapatinib]: tHER2 positive, 0.638 v tHER2 negative, 0.940; Pinteraction = .001). Within the tHER2-positive subpopulation (n = 515), higher sHER2 values still independently predicted lapatinib PFS benefit (HR per 10-ng/mL increase in sHER2: lapatinib-containing therapies, 1.017 v nonlapatinib-containing therapies, 1.041; Pinteraction = .008). In control arms (n = 936), higher sHER2 was associated with worse prognosis in multivariable analyses (PFS HR per 10 ng/mL: PFS, 1.024; P < .001; and OS, 1.018; P < .001). Conclusion: Higher sHER2 predicts greater PFS benefit with lapatinib independent of tHER2 status. High sHER2 is also independently prognostic for worse survival in patients who received nonlapatinib-containing therapies. The predictive role of sHER2 for other anti-HER2 agents requires further research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research