Characterisation of the HLA-DRB1*07:01 biomarker for lapatinib-induced liver toxicity during treatment of early-stage breast cancer patients with lapatinib in combination with trastuzumab and/or taxanes


HLA-DRB1*07:01 allele carriage was characterised as a risk biomarker for lapatinib-induced liver injury in a large global study evaluating lapatinib, alone and in combination with trastuzumab and taxanes, as adjuvant therapy for advanced breast cancer (adjuvant lapatinib and/or trastuzumab treatment optimisation). HLA-DRB1*07:01 carriage was associated with serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevations in lapatinib-treated patients (odds ratio 6.5, P=3 × 10−26, n=4482) and the risk and severity of ALT elevation for lapatinib-treated patients was higher in homozygous than heterozygous HLA-DRB1*07:01 genotype carriers. A higher ALT case incidence plus weaker HLA association observed during concurrent administration of lapatinib and taxane suggested a subset of liver injury in this combination group that was HLA-DRB1*07:01 independent. Furthermore, the incidence of ALT elevation demonstrated an expected correlation with geographic HLA-DRB1*07:01 carriage frequency. Robust ALT elevation risk estimates for HLA-DRB1*07:01 may support causality discrimination and safety risk management during the use of lapatinib combination therapy for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

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This study was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline; Tykerb is an asset of Novartis AG as of 2 March 2015.

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Correspondence to C F Spraggs.

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Spraggs, C., Parham, L., Briley, L. et al. Characterisation of the HLA-DRB1*07:01 biomarker for lapatinib-induced liver toxicity during treatment of early-stage breast cancer patients with lapatinib in combination with trastuzumab and/or taxanes. Pharmacogenomics J 18, 480–486 (2018) doi:10.1038/tpj.2017.39

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