Test May Predict Response to Taxane Therapy in Ovarian Cancer

Some patients with ovarian cancer benefit from adding a taxane to a platinum-based chemotherapy, but the regimen presents increased risk.

Although some patients with ovarian cancer may benefit from the addition of a taxane agent to platinum-based chemotherapy, the risk of severe side effects with this regimen is significantly increased; thus, identifying markers that predict taxane sensitivity would help oncologists distinguish between patients who may derive benefit from a taxane regimen and those who would likely only suffer from additional side effects. Previous studies showed that TLE3 predicts response to taxane therapy in patients with breast and lung cancers. Now, a prospective validation study presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists 41st Meeting on Women’s Cancer by Janelle Fauci, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Alabama, Birmingham, found that TLE3 expression may also predict response to taxane therapy in ovarian carcinoma.

The study enrolled a total of 583 patients, 273 of whom were eligible for analysis. Of the eligible patients, 71% received a taxane regimen, with the remainder being untreated or receiving a platinum-only regimen. Immunohistochemistry analysis for TLE3 found that 31% of patients on the taxane regimen expressed TLE3, which was significantly associated with improved time to recurrence (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.62; P =.018). At 5-year follow-up, 36% of patients who expressed TLE3 were recurrence-free compared with only 14% of those who did not. An interaction test between TLE3 expression and response to therapy reached statistical significance (P =.024), and no relationship with outcome was found in patients who were untreated or treated solely with a platinum agent (HR = 1.24; P =.24).

Based on these results, Fauci concluded that TLE3 expression appears to be predictive of response to taxane therapy in ovarian carcinomas and that this marker may help individualize chemotherapy reqimens, maximizing response and minimizing adverse effects. She noted that a stronger association was observed between TLE3 and response to taxane therapy in non-serous histologies and that future studies need to be conducted to determine whether the association is more prevalent is any non-serous subtypes.

To see the study poster, visit http://bit.ly/9md8aW.