Canadian Cancer Trials Group Bulletins


MA.5 -- Highlighted Trial & Recent Publication

Alterations in the topoisomerase II alpha (TOP2A) gene were associated with better patient outcomes following anthracycline-based therapy compared with non-anthracycline-based regimens, according to a recent article related to Canadian Cancer Trials Group MA.5 in the May 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute ( -- O'Malley FP, Chia S, Tu D, Shepherd LE, Levine MN, Bramwell VH, Andrulis IL, Pritchard KI. Topoisomerase II alpha and responsiveness of breast cancer to adjuvant chemotherapy. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 2009 101:9, 644-650).

In other words, women treated for breast cancer whose tumors carry normal versions of the genes HER2 and TOP2A may not benefit from an anthracycline as part of additional chemotherapy designed to prevent a recurrence. Instead, these patients may benefit from a less toxic regimen that does not include an anthracycline.

These results are also highlighted in the recent NCI Bulletin (

The complete citation for the JNCI article: