Soluble B7-H4 and its association with clinical characteristics and prognosis in patients with early breast cancer
Background: Immunotherapy is a promising area for treatment of breast cancer (BC) that has transformed patient care. Immune checkpoint inhibitors are only effective in a subset of patients, and the identification of biomarkers that predict response to therapy is crucial to increase the rates of responders. B7-H4 is a potentially novel target for cancer therapy.
Methods: We examined the association of sB7-H4 with clinical characteristics and prognosis in patients with early BC. Using ELISA, we analyzed sB7-H4 serum concentrations in a total of 572 early BC patients before the onset of therapy, 109 patients (cohort 1) in the neo-adjuvant setting and 463 patients in the adjuvant setting (cohort 2). In cohort 1, measurements were also performed after neo-adjuvant therapy (NACT).
Results: In cohort 1, sB7-H4 blood serum concentration was delectable in 27/109 (26%) patients before and in 50/109 (48%) patients after NACT. In cohort 2, the detection rate was only 4% (18/461 patients). In cohort 1, no significant differences between patients, even when stratifying for particular intrinsic subtypes, before and after NACT were observed. No significant chances in sB7-H4 blood serum concentration levels before and after NACT were associated with clinical parameters, prognosis and the risk of recurrence. The median blood serum concentration levels in cohort 2 were significantly higher than in cohort 1 after NACT (p=0.04) but not before NACT.
Conclusions: sB7-H4 concentration levels in serum of non-metastatic BC patients are neither associated with prognosis nor with clinical characteristics in the adjuvant and neo-adjuvant setting.