Newswise — Rome, Central Italy, June 2014. The study entitled “p53 status as effect modifier of the association between pre-treatment fasting glucose and breast cancer outcomes in non diabetic, HER2 positive patients treated with trastuzumab” has been recently judged suitable for publication in Oncotarget and will be soon available online. The authors belong to a multidisciplinary, international team led by Dr. Maddalena Barba, researcher at the Division of Medical Oncology B, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute of Rome, Central Italy. "Research in breast cancer has lately allowed to characterize molecular features that have increasingly become the targets for novel therapeutic interventions. Trastuzumab has revolutionized the treatment of patients with HER2 positive breast cancer. At the same time, we have gained knowledge on the importance of glucose metabolism in several tumours, including breast cancer” says Prof. Antonio Giordano, Director of the SBARRO INSTITUTE FOR CANCER RESEARCH AND MOLECULAR MEDICINE at TEMPLE UNIVERSITY, an internationally renowned oncologist engaged for years in the fight against breast cancer. "Within our research pipeline focused on the metabolism and cancer, we have now provided novel evidence on a widely used biomarker, namely, p53 immunostaining, as a bridging element between a systemic indicator of the glycemic body asset (fasting glucose) and treatment outcomes in non diabetic, HER2 positive breast cancer patients treated with trastuzumab” adds Prof. Giordano.

“To the best of our knowledge, the hypothesis of a role of p53 in affecting the association between pre-treatment fasting glucose and breast cancer outcomes has neither been formulated nor (been) tested before in the clinical setting. The characterization of p53 status might contribute to better define the target population and interpret treatment outcomes for interventions based on trastuzumab administration in non diabetic patients and inform decisions on co-interventions targeting glucose metabolism” clarifies Dr Barba.

“In case of confirmatory findings from future studies in similarly characterized patients, it is conceivable that lifestyle-related and pharmacological co-interventions acting on glucose metabolism in women receiving trastuzumab might possibly increase treatment efficacy and translate into improved survival” concludes Prof. Giordano.