Quinten identifies a combination of two synergistic markers that predicts a favorable response to treatment in triple-negative breast cancer

Quinten, a strategic and operational consulting company specializing in the evaluation of biomedical data in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and cosmetic industries, today announces the identification of two discriminating biological marker candidates which are indicative of a favorable response to treatment in women suffering from triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

In the sub-group with both markers in combination, 86 per cent of women responded to treatment with Panitumumab plus Fec 100, followed by Docetaxel, with complete disappearance of the tumor (equating to a full pathological response on Chevallier’s classification). Only 47 per cent of women in the total population examined during Phase II testing showed a similar response to treatment.

Using its proprietary Q-Finder algorithm, Quinten analyzed 200 biological variables relating to samples taken from 47 TNBC patients, provided by the Centre Jean Perrin in Clermont-Ferrand, which is led by Professor J Dauplat. The biological markers which have been identified confirm and build on results already found by teams working at the center under Professor Nabholtz, who is responsible for the medical and clinical research departments and Professor Penault-Lorca, Head of Biopathology and Director of the 4677 ERTICa university research team (Equipe de recherche sur les traitements individualises du cancer [personalised cancer treatment research team]) at the University of Auvergne.

In cancers showing a mixed basal/luminal phenotype, among patients with an EFGR score of more than 80, combined with a cytokeratin 8/18 percentage in excess of 20, the response rate to treatment is almost double (1.83 times) the overall rate for women suffering from TNBC. These patients represent approximately 30 per cent of women with TNBC.

TNBC accounts for around 15 per cent of breast tumors. A breast tumor is said to be triple negative if less than one per cent of its mass is made up of estrogen and progesterone receptor-carrying cells, and it exhibits no HER2 overexpression or amplification. These are found in around 13 per cent of breast cancers. This type of cancer affects mainly younger women under the age of 50. In older women, it is often known as an ‘interval’ cancer which is discovered between two routine screening mammograms, where the most recent showed perfectly normal results. It is known to be an aggressive cancer, with ten-year survival rates of just five per cent for basal phenotype TNBC (75 per cent of all TNBC cases) and 62 per cent for other TNBC cases. It is not unusual to see a rapid spread of pulmonary and cerebral metastases following conventional treatment, as the cancer cells spread through the bloodstream rather than the lymph ducts. There are few specific or targeted treatments available for triple-negative breast cancer at present. (Source: Eurocancer 2011)

“As far as we know, this is the first time that prognostic biological markers for a favorable response to this type of treatment have been discovered for triple-negative breast cancer. This discovery once again illustrates and confirms our ability to identify synergistic variable interactions which define specific high-benefit or high-risk sub-groups within a given population,” explains Alexandre Templier, CEO of Quinten. “This approach to personalized medicine has long been of interest to pharmaceutical laboratories. More recently, we have seen growing interest from academic teams. We help them to make the best possible use of their data.”

“We are delighted to have discovered this interaction between two markers that individually provide no information. It gives hope to women suffering from triple negative breast cancer, as there are still very few treatments available. We will be able to select patients who have the greatest chance of responding to the treatment that we have implemented,” adds Professor Jean-Marc Nabholtz of the Centre Jean Perrin. “A scientific paper is being drafted and we are discussing the commencement of work to confirm this discovery.”

About Quinten

Quinten provides consulting services on strategy and operations to companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and cosmetics industries, with a particular focus on the exploitation of biomedical data.

Thanks to its unique technology and proven know-how, Quinten extracts accurate and targeted information from these data in the form of directly implementable recommendations. These recommendations make it possible to optimize strategic and operational decision-making in the area of product development and promotion. By maximizing the chances of success at each stage, Quinten facilitates the sequential conduct of clinical trials. This reduces the time to market of new products, thereby ensuring their customers a healthy rate of return on their investments.

Quinten’s data exploration technology is based on the Q-Finder(R) algorithm, a tool developed through years of research, whose specificity is to be able to exploit any type of data exhaustively and without any preconceptions. Quinten’s approach complements traditional modeling and data-mining techniques. This allows the possibility of identification, characterization and the leverage of sub-groups corresponding to best and worst practices in terms of patients’ response or resistance to a treatment, the onset of undesirable side-effects, or the benefits/risk balance.

Quinten’s projects are performed rapidly (in six to eight weeks on average) and span the whole product development chain, from preclinical research to post-marketing studies.

For further information, go to: http://www.quinten-france.com