Biomarker modulation following short-term vorinostat in women with newly diagnosed primary breast cancer

Vered Stearns, Lisa K. Jacobs, Mary Jo Fackler, Theodore N. Tsangaris, Michelle A. Rudek, Michaela Higgins, Julie Lange, Zandra Cheng, Shannon A. Slater, Stacie C. Jeter, Penny Powers, Susanne Briest, Calvin Chao, Carl Yoshizawa, Elizabeth Sugar, Igor Espinoza-Delgado, Saraswati Sukumar, Edward Gabrielson, Nancy E. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: Agents that target the epigenome show activity in breast cancer models. In preclinical studies, the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat induces cell-cycle arrest, apoptosis, and differentiation. We evaluated biomarker modulation in breast cancer tissues obtained from women with newly diagnosed invasive disease who received vorinostat and those who did not. Experimental Design: Tumor specimens were collected from 25 women who received up to 6 doses of oral vorinostat 300 mg twice daily and from 25 untreated controls in a nonrandomized study. Candidate gene expression was analyzed by reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) using the Oncotype DX 21-gene assay, and by immunohistochemistry for Ki-67 and cleaved caspase-3. Matched samples from treated women were analyzed for gene methylation by quantitative multiplex methylation-specific PCR (QM-MSP). Wilcoxon nonparametric tests were used to compare changes in quantitative gene expression levels pre- and postvorinostat with changes in expression in untreated controls, and changes in gene methylation between preand post-vorinostat samples. Results: Vorinostat was well tolerated and there were no study-related delays in treatment. Compared with untreated controls, there were statistically significant decreases in the expression of proliferationassociated genes Ki-67 (P = 0.003), STK15 (P = 0.005), and Cyclin B1 (P = 0.03) following vorinostat, but not in other genes by the Oncotype DX assay, or in expression of Ki-67 or cleaved caspase-3 by immunohistochemistry. Changes in methylation were not observed. Conclusions: Short-term vorinostat administration is associated with a significant decrease in expression of proliferation-associated genes in untreated breast cancers. This demonstration of biologic activity supports investigation of vorinostat in combination with other agents for the management of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4008-4016
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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