Individualized selection of patients with early stage hormone receptor positive (HR+) breast cancer for extended endocrine therapy (EET) are required to balance modest gains in outcome with toxicities of prolonged use. This study examined the Breast Cancer Index (BCI) [HOXB13/IL17BR ratio (H/I)] as a predictive biomarker of EET benefit in patients from the Investigation on the Duration of Extended Adjuvant Letrozole (IDEAL) trial.
BCI was tested in primary tumor specimens from 908 patients randomized to receive 2.5 vs 5 years of extended letrozole. The primary endpoint was recurrence-free interval (RFI). Cox models and likelihood ratios tested the interaction between EET and BCI (H/I).
BCI (H/I)-High significantly predicted benefit from extended letrozole in the Overall cohort (HR 0.42, 95% CI 0.21-0.84; P=0.011) and Any AI subset (HR 0.34, 0.16-0.73; P=0.004), whereas BCI (H/I)-Low patients did not derive significant benefit (HR 0.95, 0.58-1.56; P=0.84, HR 0.90, 0.53-1.55; P=0.71, respectively); treatment to biomarker interaction was significant (P=0.045, P=0.025, respectively). BCI identified ~50% of patients with clinically high-risk disease that did not benefit, and with clinically low-risk disease that derived significant benefit, from an additional 2.5 years of EET.
BCI (H/I) predicted preferential benefit from 5 vs 2.5 years of EET and identified patients with improved outcomes from completing 10 years of adjuvant endocrine therapy. Findings expand the clinical utility of BCI (H/I) to a broader range of patients and beyond prognostic risk factors as a predictive endocrine response biomarker for early stage HR+ breast cancer.