Phase II trial of preoperative paclitaxel, gemcitabine, and trastuzumab combination therapy in HER2 positive stage II/III breast cancer: the Korean Cancer Study Group BR 07-01

Seock-Ah Im, Keun Seok Lee, Jungsil Ro, Eun Sook Lee, Youngmee Kwon, Jin-Hee Ahn, Jin Seok Ahn, Jee Hyun Kim, Han Sung Kang, Kyung Hwan Shin, Dong-Young Noh, In-Ae Park, Sung-Bae Kim, Young Hyuck Im, Sung Whan Ha
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2012, 132 (2): 589-600
An addition of trastuzumab preoperatively to chemotherapy for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive breast cancer improved relapse-free survival (RFS). This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of preoperative paclitaxel, gemcitabine, and trastuzumab (PGH) combination for HER2-positive breast caner. Pathologically, proven node positive stage II/III breast cancer patients with adequate organ function and no history of anti-cancer therapy were eligible. Patients received weekly trastuzumab with paclitaxel 80 mg/m(2) and gemcitabine 1,200 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8, every 3 weeks for 6 cycles. Postoperatively, patients completed trastuzumab for 1 year and hormone therapy for 5 years if indicated. All patients received postoperative radiation therapy. Of 53 enrolled patients with a median tumor of 5.3 (range, 2.0 to >12) cm; 43.4%, T3/T4; 75.4%, N2/N3; and 45.3%, positive hormone receptors. The pathologic complete response (pCR) rate was 58.5% in both tumor and lymph nodes. Grade 3/4 adverse events were neutropenia (32%), febrile neutropenia (0.6%), and transient elevation of AST/ALT (1.6%) during a total of 318 cycles. All patients maintained normal cardiac function. With a median follow-up of 40 months, 3-year RFS rate was 84% with 91.7% distant metastasis-free survival rates. Remarkable pCR rate was obtained with non-anthracycline-based PGH therapy for HER2-positive stage II/III breast cancer. Adverse events were mild with few incidences of febrile neutropenia.

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