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Ann Surg Oncol. 2010 May;17(5):1392-7. doi: 10.1245/s10434-009-0855-0. Epub 2010 Mar 9.

Topoisomerase 2 alpha and the case for individualized breast cancer therapy.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, National University of Ireland, Galway, Clinical Science Institute, Costello Road, Galway, Ireland.



Many patients with breast cancer receive no benefit from their treatment. This has led to a search for novel therapeutic targets whose identification may facilitate a more tailored approach, thereby avoiding unnecessary toxicity. Of these, topoisomerase 2 alpha (TOP2A), located at the HER2/neu amplicon on chromosome 17, has generated particular interest because its expression has been shown to correlate with response to anthracycline-based therapies.


We evaluated the relationship between TOP2A and its collocated gene, HER2/neu, and summarized the evidence for and against confining anthracycline-based therapies to those patients who demonstrate increased expression or amplification of these targets.


The emerging consensus supports the restriction of anthracyclines to those patients who are HER2/neu positive, with the evidence suggesting that alterations in the status of TOP2A are almost completely restricted to this group of patients.


It seems increasingly likely that response to anthracyclines is predicated on these alterations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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