JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Adjuvant trastuzumab in HER2-positive breast cancer

Dennis Slamon, Wolfgang Eiermann, Nicholas Robert, Tadeusz Pienkowski, Miguel Martin, Michael Press, John Mackey, John Glaspy, Arlene Chan, Marek Pawlicki, Tamas Pinter, Vicente Valero, Mei-Ching Liu, Guido Sauter, Gunter von Minckwitz, Frances Visco, Valerie Bee, Marc Buyse, Belguendouz Bendahmane, Isabelle Tabah-Fisch, Mary-Ann Lindsay, Alessandro Riva, John Crown
New England Journal of Medicine 2011 October 6, 365 (14): 1273-83
21991949

BACKGROUND: Trastuzumab improves survival in the adjuvant treatment of HER-positive breast cancer, although combined therapy with anthracycline-based regimens has been associated with cardiac toxicity. We wanted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a new nonanthracycline regimen with trastuzumab.

METHODS: We randomly assigned 3222 women with HER2-positive early-stage breast cancer to receive doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by docetaxel every 3 weeks (AC-T), the same regimen plus 52 weeks of trastuzumab (AC-T plus trastuzumab), or docetaxel and carboplatin plus 52 weeks of trastuzumab (TCH). The primary study end point was disease-free survival. Secondary end points were overall survival and safety.

RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 65 months, 656 events triggered this protocol-specified analysis. The estimated disease-free survival rates at 5 years were 75% among patients receiving AC-T, 84% among those receiving AC-T plus trastuzumab, and 81% among those receiving TCH. Estimated rates of overall survival were 87%, 92%, and 91%, respectively. No significant differences in efficacy (disease-free or overall survival) were found between the two trastuzumab regimens, whereas both were superior to AC-T. The rates of congestive heart failure and cardiac dysfunction were significantly higher in the group receiving AC-T plus trastuzumab than in the TCH group (P<0.001). Eight cases of acute leukemia were reported: seven in the groups receiving the anthracycline-based regimens and one in the TCH group subsequent to receiving an anthracycline outside the study.

CONCLUSIONS: The addition of 1 year of adjuvant trastuzumab significantly improved disease-free and overall survival among women with HER2-positive breast cancer. The risk-benefit ratio favored the nonanthracycline TCH regimen over AC-T plus trastuzumab, given its similar efficacy, fewer acute toxic effects, and lower risks of cardiotoxicity and leukemia. (Funded by Sanofi-Aventis and Genentech; BCIRG-006 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00021255.).

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