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.