JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Survival after adding capecitabine and trastuzumab to neoadjuvant anthracycline-taxane-based chemotherapy for primary breast cancer (GBG 40—GeparQuattro)

G von Minckwitz, M Rezai, P A Fasching, J Huober, H Tesch, I Bauerfeind, J Hilfrich, H Eidtmann, B Gerber, C Hanusch, J U Blohmer, S D Costa, C Jackisch, S Paepke, A Schneeweiss, S Kümmel, C Denkert, K Mehta, S Loibl, M Untch
Annals of Oncology: Official Journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology 2014, 25 (1): 81-9
24273046

BACKGROUND: The GeparQuattro study showed that adding capecitabine or prolonging the duration of anthracycline-taxane-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy from 24 to 36 weeks did not increase pathological complete response (pCR) rates. Trastuzumab-treated patients with HER2-positive disease showed a higher pCR rate than patients with HER2-negative disease treated with chemotherapy alone. We here present disease-free (DFS) and overall survival (OS) analyses.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients (n = 1495) with cT ≥ 3 tumors, or negative hormone-receptor status, or positive hormone-receptor and clinically node-positive disease received four times epirubicin/cyclophosphamide and were thereafter randomly assigned to four times docetaxel (Taxotere), or four times docetaxel/capecitabine over 24 weeks, or four times docetaxel followed by capecitabine over 36 weeks. Patients with HER2-positive tumors received 1 year of trastuzumab, starting with the first chemotherapy cycle. Follow-up was available for a median of 5.4 years.

RESULTS: Outcome was not improved for patients receiving capecitabine (HR 0.92; P = 0.463 for DFS and HR 93; P = 0.618 for OS) as well as for patients receiving 36 weeks of chemotherapy (HR 0.97; P = 0.818 for DFS and HR 0.97; P = 0.825 for OS). Trastuzumab-treated patients with HER2-positive disease showed similar DFS (P = 0.305) but a significantly better adjusted OS (P = 0.040) when compared with patients with HER2-negative disease treated with chemotherapy alone. Recorded long-term cardiac toxicity was low.

CONCLUSIONS: Long-term results, similar to the results of pCR, do not support the use of capecitabine in the neoadjuvant setting in addition to an anthracycline-taxane-based chemotherapy. However, the results support previous data showing a benefit of trastuzumab as predicted by higher pCR rates.

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