Trastuzumab has shown significant clinical benefits in patients with operable and metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. However, the biological mechanism of the additional effect of trastuzumab administered in combination with conventional chemotherapy is poorly understood. We performed a retrospective analysis of 55 patients with HER2-positive breast cancer treated with anthracycline and taxane (chemotherapy alone; CT), or trastuzumab in combination with taxane-based chemotherapy (CT+T) for neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We determined the therapeutic efficacies [clinical (CR) and pathological complete responses (pCR)] and changes in the proportion of positive cells for each biomarker pre- to post-neoadjuvant chemotherapy for each treatment regimen. Clinical-CR and quasi-pCR rates defined as the absence of invasive tumors or only a few remaining invasive tumor cells were 6.9 and 31.0% in the CT group and 46.2 and 65.4% in the CT+T group, respectively. In the CT group, the proportion of estrogen receptor (ER)-/progesterone receptor (PgR)-positive cells decreased significantly following treatment (ER, 73.5 vs. 50.9%; P=0.02). Changes in the proportion of ER-/PgR-positive cells were not noted in the CT+T group (ER, 81.9 vs. 80.3%; P=0.61), although a relatively greater decrease in the proportion of Ki-67-positive cells was found in the CT+T group than that in the CT group (−26.5 vs. −13.7%). These findings indicate that CT+T inhibits ER-negative and Ki-67-positive breast cancer cells. In conclusion, trastuzumab sensitized ER-negative proliferative cells to cytotoxic chemotherapy. This finding may indicate an additional clinical effect of trastuzumab when administered in combination with conventional chemotherapy as neoadjuvant chemotherapy for HER2-positive breast cancer.
trastuzumab; neoadjuvant therapy; estrogen receptor
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the standard of care for patients with large, inoperable tumors or inflammatory breast cancer, but it is also increasingly considered for women with operable disease. Several randomized trials have demonstrated that anthracycline- and taxane-containing regimens in operable breast cancer were equally effective in terms of disease-free or overall survival regardless of whether they were administered postoperatively or preoperatively. Further neoadjuvant treatment allows for a higher rate of breast conserving surgery. Tumor responses in terms of pathologic complete remission after short-term chemotherapy will probably only serve as a surrogate marker for long-term outcome in some molecular breast cancer subtypes like the triple-negative, HER2-positive, and some luminal B subsets. Recent trials showed that in HER2-positive disease pCR rates were as high as 70% when 2 HER2-targeted agents were added to chemotherapy.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Pathologic complete remission; Molecular subtypes; HER2-positive breast cancer
Metastatic breast cancer patients are usually exposed to taxane and anthracycline as neoadjuvant, adjuvant and palliative chemotherapeutic agents. This study was designed to determine the efficacy and safety of the use of a gemcitabine and cisplatin (GP) combination treatment in patients with metastatic breast cancer that were pretreated with anthracycline and taxane.
Materials and Methods
We evaluated the use of a GP regimen (1,000 mg/m2 gemcitabine administered on days 1 and 8 plus 60 mg/m2 cisplatin administered on day 1 every 3 weeks) in 38 breast cancer patients who had received prior chemotherapy with anthracycline and taxane as an adjuvant or neoadjuvant therapy, or as a palliative therapy.
The median patient age was 49 years (age range, 35~69 years). The overall response rate was 28.9% in 11 patients (95% confidence interval [CI], 14~44%). The median time to progression was 5.2 months (95% CI, 3.6~6.8 months). Median survival was 19.5 months (95% CI, 11.2~27.8 months). Major grade 3/4 hematological toxicity was due to leukopenia (36 of 157 cycles, 23.1%). Non-hematological toxicity was rarely severe; grade1/2 nausea and vomiting were observed in 37.8% of the patients. There were no treatment related deaths.
Our results suggest that the use of gemcitabine plus cisplatin appears to be effective and has an acceptable toxicity profile in patients with advanced breast cancer that have been pretreated with anthracycline and taxane.
Breast neoplasms; Anthracycline; Taxane; Gemcitabine; Cisplatin
Trastuzumab and chemotherapy is the current standard of care in HER2+ early or locally advanced breast cancer, but there are scanty literature data of its real world effectiveness.
We retrospectively reviewed 205 patients with HER2+ breast cancer diagnosed in 10 Italian Medical Oncology Units between July 2003 and October 2011. All patients received neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST) with trastuzumab in association with chemotherapy. Many different chemotherapy regimens were used, even if 90 % of patients received schemes including anthracyclines and 99 % received taxanes. NST was administered for more than 21 weeks (median: 24) in 130/205 (63.4 %) patients, while trastuzumab was given for more than 12 weeks (median: 12 weeks) in 101/205 (49.3 %) patients. pCR/0 was defined as ypT0+ypN0, and pCR/is as ypT0/is+ypN0.
pCR/0 was obtained in 24.8 % and pCR/is in 46.8 % of the patients. At multivariate logistic regression, nonluminal/HER2+ tumors (P < 0.0001) and more than 12 weeks of neoadjuvant trastuzumab treatment (P = 0.03) were independent predictors of pCR/0. Median disease-free survival (DFS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) have not been reached at the time of analysis. At multivariate analysis, nonluminal/HER2+ subclass (DFS: P = 0.01 and CSS: P = 0.01) and pathological stage II–III at surgery (DFS: P < 0.0001 and CSS: P = 0.001) were the only variables significantly associated with a worse long-term outcome.
Our data set the relevance of molecular subclasses and residual tumor burden after neoadjuvant as the most relevant prognostic factors for survival in this cohort of patients.
Breast cancer; Pathological complete response; HER2; Neoadjuvant; Trastuzumab; Survival
Women receiving neoadjuvant systemic therapy for primary operable or inoperable breast cancer can potentially benefit in a number of ways, but the main advantage, which has been consistently demonstrated, is improved tumour resectability. Given the improvement in outcomes with the adjuvant use of trastuzumab in patients with early-stage breast cancer positive for the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (her2), questions have been raised about the use of trastuzumab in the neoadjuvant setting. The present paper reviews the currently available data and outlines suggestions from a panel of Canadian oncologists about the use of trastuzumab and other her2-targeted agents in the neoadjuvant setting.
The panel focussed on
the use of trastuzumab and other her2-targeted agents as neoadjuvant therapy in primary operable, locally advanced, and inflammatory breast cancer; andpossible choices of chemotherapeutic regimens with trastuzumab.
The suggestions described here will continue to evolve as data from current and future trials with trastuzumab and other her2-targeted agents emerge.
Neoadjuvant; breast cancer; her2-targeted therapy; trastuzumab
Although a pathologic complete response (pCR) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy is associated with favourable outcomes, a small proportion of patients with pCR have recurrence. This study was designed to identify factors predictive of recurrence in patients with pCR.
A total of 449 breast cancer patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and 88 evaluable patients had a pCR, defined as no evidence of invasive carcinoma in the breast at surgery. The clinical stage was II in 61 patients (69%), III in 27 (31%). All patients received taxanes and 92% received anthracyclines. Among 43 patients with HER2-positive tumours, 27 received trastuzumab. Cox regression analyses were performed to identify predictors of recurrence.
Median follow-up was 46.0 months. There were 12 recurrences, including 8 distant metastases. The rate of locoregional recurrence was 10.4% after breast-conserving surgery, as compared with 2.5% after mastectomy. Multivariate analysis revealed that axillary metastases (hazard ratio (HR), 13.6; P<0.0001) and HER2-positive disease (HR, 5.0; P<0.019) were significant predictors of recurrence. Five of six patients with both factors had recurrence. Inclusion of trastuzumab was not an independent predictor among patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.
Our study results suggest that HER2 status and axillary metastases are independent predictors of recurrence in patients with pCR.
breast cancer; pathologic complete response; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; predictive factor; trastuzumab
Systemic treatment for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC: negative for the expression of estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor and HER2 amplification) has been limited to chemotherapy options. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy induces tumor shrinkage and improves the surgical outcomes of patients with locally advanced disease and also identifies those at high risk of disease relapse despite today's standard of care. By using pathologic complete response as a surrogate endpoint, novel treatment strategies can be efficiently assessed. Tissue analysis in the neoadjuvant setting is also an important research tool for the identification of chemotherapy resistance mechanisms and new therapeutic targets. In this paper, we review data on completed and ongoing neoadjuvant clinical trials in patients with TNBC and discuss treatment controversies that face clinicians and researchers when neoadjuvant chemotherapy is employed.
Combinations of capecitabine and a taxane are highly active in metastatic breast cancer, and synergy between capecitabine and docetaxel has also been demonstrated. Such combinations potentially would provide a promising non–anthracycline-based alternative for patients with early breast cancer. Non-anthracycline preoperative regimens are a particularly interesting proposition in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer, as they offer less cardiotoxicity and thus can be used concomitantly with preoperative trastuzumab therapy. Capecitabine plus docetaxel (XT) and trastuzumab with XT (HXT) are promising non-anthracycline regimens for the preoperative treatment of women with HER2-negative and HER2-positive breast cancer, respectively. The Xeloda in Neoadjuvant (XeNA) trial, an open-label, multicenter, phase II study, independently assesses the efficacy of preoperative XT in HER2-negative and HXT in HER2-positive breast cancer. A particularly important feature of the XeNA study is the use of pathologic complete response (pCR) plus near pCR (npCR) as the primary endpoint. pCR is associated with long-term survival, and although it is valuable as a surrogate marker, pCR has some limitations. Measurement of residual breast cancer burden (RCB) has been proposed as a more practical alternative to predict survival after preoperative chemotherapy. The combination of RCB-0 and RCB-I (npCR) expands the subset of patients shown to benefit from preoperative chemotherapy, and achievement of pCR or npCR is associated with long disease-free survival. In XeNA, the sum of pCR and npCR will facilitate correlative studies designed to identify patients most likely to benefit from XT and HXT and may expedite the clinical evaluation of these novel preoperative regimens.
Pathologic complete response; Breast-conserving surgery; Taxane; Anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity
In HER2-overexpressing breast cancer, accumulating preclinical evidences suggest that some chemotherapies, like trastuzumab, but also taxanes, are able to trigger a T helper 1 (Th1) anticancer immune response that contribute to treatment success. T helper 1 immune response is characterised by the expression of the transcription factor T-bet in CD4 T lymphocytes. We hypothesised that the presence of such T cells in the tumour immune infiltrates following neoadjuvant chemotherapy would predict patient survival.
In a series of 102 consecutive HER2-overexpressing breast cancer patients treated by neoadjuvant chemotherapy incorporating antracyclines or taxane and trastuzumab, we studied by immunohistochemistry the peritumoral lymphoid infiltration by T-bet+ lymphocytes before and after chemotherapy in both treatment groups. Kaplan–Meier analysis and Cox modelling were used to assess relapse-free survival (RFS).
Fifty-eight patients have been treated with trastuzumab–taxane and 44 patients with anthracyclines-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The presence of T-bet+ lymphocytes in peritumoral lymphoid structures after chemotherapy was significantly more frequent in patients treated with trastuzumab–taxane (P=0.0008). After a median follow-up of 40 months, the presence of T-bet+ lymphocytes after neoadjuvant chemotherapy confers significantly better RFS (log-rank test P=0.011) only in patients treated with trastuzumab–taxane. In this population, multivariate Cox regression model showed that only the presence of T-bet+ lymphocytes in peritumoral lymphoid structures after neoadjuvant chemotherapy was independently associated with improved RFS (P=0.04).
These findings indicate that the tumour infiltration by T-bet+ Th1 lymphocytes following neoadjuvant trastuzumab–taxane may represent a new independent prognostic factor of improved outcome in HER2-overexpressing breast carcinoma.
T-bet; breast cancer; HER2; trastuzumab; docetaxel
Approximately 20%–25% of patients with breast cancer demonstrate amplification of the human epidermal receptor type 2 (HER2) gene, resulting in an overexpression of the HER2 receptor. This overexpression is associated with aggressive disease, relatively poor prognosis, and worse clinical outcomes. Neoadjuvant therapy is the standard treatment in patients with locally advanced, inflammatory, or inoperable primary breast cancer. It is generally used to downstage the tumors and therefore to improve surgical options including breast-conserving surgery rather than mastectomy. It has been confirmed that patients with pathological complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant treatment have better disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). Neoadjuvant treatment can also serve as in vivo test of sensitivity to the used therapeutic regimen. The preferred neoadjuvant approach to patients with HER2-positive breast cancer is a sequential anthracycline-taxane-based chemotherapy in combination with trastuzumab. Addition of other anti-HER2 agents has increased pCR rate up to 75% and will probably become a new therapeutic direction. In the first part of this paper, we summarize the information about HER2-positive breast cancer, the various treatment possibilities, and the results of the major neoadjuvant trials. The second part focuses on the data concerning the importance of pCR and the potential risk of cardiotoxicity associated with this treatment.
The role of adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer is well established, as are its indications. Likewise, the role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer is well established. The use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in operable breast cancer has only recently become of interest to researchers.
Patients and methods:
This study included 34 cases of operable breast cancer that were given four cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in the form of FEC100 then subjected to surgery. The surgery done was either breast conserving surgery or modified radical mastectomy. All patients completed the treatment regimen and no patients were excluded from the study. All surgical specimens were studied pathologically for chemotherapy effect.
An overall objective response was observed in 70.6% of the patients. Seven patients (20.6%) experienced a clinical complete response (cCR), 17 patients (50.0%) had partial response, nine patients (26.5%) had no change of their disease and only one patient had disease progression. Of the seven patients who had a cCR, only four patients (11.8%) had pathologic complete response (pCR), while pCR for the whole group was 14.7%(5/34). Tumour size of more than 2 cm was observed in 28 patients (82.4%) at time of presentation, while tumour size of 2 cm or less was seen in six patients (17.6%) only. After completion of the course of chemotherapy, 23 patients (67.6%) were observed to have tumours of 2 cm or less that allowed for less extensive resections. Twenty-three patients underwent breast conservative surgery (67.6%) while modified radical mastectomy was performed in 11 patients (32.4%).
The use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in operable breast cancer in this study was associated with tumour and axillary downstaging, which increased the proportion of cases undergoing breast conservation, with acceptable side effects and reasonable cost. During the limited follow-up time of this study no loco regional recurrences were recorded and one distant treatment failure was recorded. Its impact if any on overall or disease-free survival was not addressed in this study. Larger multi-centre randomized studies with a long follow-up are needed to compare the overall and disease-free survival benefit of this treatment modality, especially in different subtypes stratified by pathological response.
The treatment of patients with breast cancer continues to evolve, with cytotoxic chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, and molecular targeted therapies representing the backbones of modern systemic breast cancer treatment. As we learn better to understand the biology of breast cancer cells, therapies to target specific pathways continue to be developed with the goal of expanding available effective therapy in specific populations. Several targeted drugs with different molecular pathways have achieved approval for metastatic breast cancer, but for early breast cancer trastuzumab is the only one that is currently approved in combination with chemotherapy for adjuvant or neoadjuvant treatment in women with HER2-positive breast cancer. Lapatinib and bevacizumab are both approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and are now investigated in phase III clinical trials testing their effectiveness in the treatment of early breast cancer. In this publication, we review the current status in the treatment of early and locally advanced breast cancer with molecular targeted therapies that are currently approved or in advanced clinical development.
Breast cancer: early, locally advanced; Targeted therapy; HER2; Neoadjuvant therapy; Trastuzumab; Lapatinib; Bevacizumab; Neratinib; T-DM1; Pertuzumab
Traditionally, neoadjuvant treatment for breast cancer was preserved for locally advanced and inflammatory disease, converting an inoperable to a surgical resectable cancer. In recent years, neoadjuvant therapy has become an accepted treatment option also for lower tumor stages in order to increase the rate of breast conserving therapy and to reduce the extent of surgery. Furthermore, treatment response can be monitored, and therefore, patient compliance may be increased. Neoadjuvant trials, additionally, offer the opportunity to evaluate new treatment options in a faster way and with fewer patients than large adjuvant trials. Compared to the metastatic setting, the issue of acquired resistance and pretreatments, which may distort treatment efficacy, can be avoided. New trial designs like window-of-opportunity trials or postneoadjuvant trials provide the chance to identify tumor sensitivity or to overcome tumor resistance in early tumor stages. In particular, in HER2-positive breast cancer, the neoadjuvant approach yielded great successes. The dual HER2 blockade with trastuzumab and pertuzumab recently showed the highest pCR rates ever reported. Many new drugs are in clinical testing with the aim to further increase pCR rates. Whether this endpoint really represents a surrogate for long-term outcome is not answered yet and will be discussed in this review.
To evaluate the pathologic complete response (pCR) rates and relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) of patients receiving neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST) with trastuzumab in combination with an anthracycline- or a non-anthracycline-based regimen.
In this retrospective non-randomized study, we reviewed records of 300 patients with HER2-positive breast cancer treated with either sequential paclitaxel and trastuzumab and FEC75 in combination with trastuzumab (PH-FECH) or docetaxel, carboplatin and trastuzumab (TCH). The Kaplan-Meier product-limit method was used to estimate RFS and OS rates. Logistic regression models and Cox proportional hazards models were fit to determine the associations between NST, pCR and survival.
There was no significant difference in the decline in cardiac ejection fraction, however, patients who received PH-FECH had less cardiac comorbidities at baseline (P = 0.002). pCR rates were 60.6% and 43.3% for patients who received PH-FECH(n=235) and TCH(n=65), respectively (P=0.016). Patients who received PH-FECH were 1.45 times more likely to have a pCR (Odds ratio [OR]:1.45; 95% confidence interval (CI):1.06-1.98; P=0.02). Three-year RFS rates were 93% and 71% (P<0.001), and 3-year OS rates were 96% and 86% (P=0.008) for patients who received PH-FECH and TCH, respectively. Patients who received PH-FECH had a lower risk of recurrence (Hazard ratio [HR]:0.27; 95% CI:0.12-0.60; P=0.001) and death (HR:0.37; 95% CI:0.12-1.13; P=0.08) than those treated with TCH.
The type of NST in HER2-positive breast cancer is predictive of pCR rate independent of disease and patient characteristics. While TCH is active, PH-FECH shows a higher pCR rate and RFS advantage.
HER2-positive breast cancer; neoadjuvant therapy; trastuzumab; anthracyclines; pCR; survival
Reliable predictive and prognostic markers for routine diagnostic purposes are needed for breast cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We evaluated protein biomarkers in a cohort of 116 participants of the GeparDuo study on anthracycline/taxane-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy for operable breast cancer to test for associations with pathological complete response (pCR) and disease-free survival (DFS). Particularly, we evaluated if interactions between hormone receptor (HR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression might lead to a different clinical behavior of HR+/HER2+ co-expressing and HR+/HER2- tumors and whether subgroups of triple negative tumors might be identified by the help of Ki67 labeling index, cytokeratin 5/6 (CK5/6), as well as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1) expression.
Expression analysis was performed using immunohistochemistry and silver-enhanced in situ hybridization on tissue microarrays (TMAs) of pretherapeutic core biopsies.
pCR rates were significantly different between the biology-based tumor types (P = 0.044) with HR+/HER2+ and HR-/HER2- tumors having higher pCR rates than HR+/HER2- tumors. Ki67 labeling index, confirmed as significant predictor of pCR in the whole cohort (P = 0.001), identified HR-/HER- (triple negative) carcinomas with a higher chance for a pCR (P = 0.006). Biology-based tumor type (P = 0.046 for HR+/HER2+ vs. HR+/HER2-), Ki67 labeling index (P = 0.028), and treatment arm (P = 0.036) were independent predictors of pCR in a multivariate model. DFS was different in the biology-based tumor types (P < 0.0001) with HR+/HER2- and HR+/HER2+ tumors having the best prognosis and HR-/HER2+ tumors showing the worst outcome. Biology-based tumor type was an independent prognostic factor for DFS in multivariate analysis (P < 0.001).
Our data demonstrate that a biology-based breast cancer classification using estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), and HER2 bears independent predictive and prognostic potential. The HR+/HER2+ co-expressing carcinomas emerged as a group of tumors with a good response rate to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and a favorable prognosis. HR+/HER2- tumors had a good prognosis irrespective of a pCR, whereas patients with HR-/HER- and HR-/HER+ tumors, especially if they had not achieved a pCR, had an unfavorable prognosis and are in need of additional treatment options.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00793377
To evaluate HER2 status in residual tumor identified at the time of surgery in patients not achieving a pathologic complete response (pCR) and to determine the impact of alterations in HER2 status on recurrence-free survival (RFS).
Clinicopathologic data for patients with HER2-overexpressing breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant therapy with a taxane, anthracycline and concomitant trastuzumab between 2004 and 2007 were reviewed. Surgical specimens for patients achieving less than a pCR were assessed to determine if there was enough residual tissue to evaluate post-treatment HER2 status. RFS was determined using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared by the log rank statistic.
A pCR was achieved in 72 (50.7%) of the 142 patients. Residual tumor was sufficient to assess post-treatment HER2 status in 25 patients. FISH performed on pre-treatment specimens confirmed HER2-amplification prior to beginning therapy. Eight (32.0%) post-treatment tumors were found to be HER2-negative by FISH. At a median follow-up of 37 months (range 8–56 months), the RFS was significantly better for patients with tumors that retained HER2 amplification (87.5% vs. 50%, p=0.04).
High pCR rates are achieved in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant trastuzumab in combination with anthracyclines and taxanes. One-third of patients with significant residual disease lose HER2 amplification and this change is associated with poor RFS. Residual tumor identified at the time of surgery should be reassessed for HER2 status and novel adjuvant therapy strategies need to be studied in this population.
breast cancer; HER2/neu; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; trastuzumab
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy has been considered the standard care in locally advanced breast cancer. However, about 20% of the patients do not benefit from this clinical treatment and, predictive factors of response were not defined yet. This study was designed to evaluate the importance of biological markers to predict response and prognosis in stage II and III breast cancer patients treated with taxane and anthracycline combination as neoadjuvant setting.
Sixty patients received preoperative docetaxel (75 mg/m2) in combination with epirubicin (50 mg/m2) in i.v. infusion in D1 every 3 weeks after incisional biopsy. They received adjuvant chemotherapy with CMF or FEC, attaining axillary status following definitive breast surgery. Clinical and pathologic response rates were measured after preoperative therapy. We evaluated the response rate to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and the prognostic significance of clinicopathological and immunohistochemical parameters (ER, PR, p51, p21 and HER-2 protein expression). The median patient age was 50.5 years with a median follow up time 48 months after the time of diagnosis.
Preoperative treatment achieved clinical response in 76.6% of patients and complete pathologic response in 5%. The clinical, pathological and immunohistochemical parameters were not able to predict response to therapy and, only HER2 protein overexpression was associated with a decrease in disease free and overall survival (P = 0.0007 and P = 0.003) as shown by multivariate analysis.
Immunohistochemical phenotypes were not able to predict response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Clinical response is inversely correlated with a risk of death in patients submitted to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and HER2 overexpression is the major prognostic factor in stage II and III breast cancer patients treated with a neoadjuvant docetaxel and epirubicin combination.
To evaluate the influence of race/ethnicity and tumor subtype in pathological complete response (pCR) following treatment with neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
2074 patients diagnosed with breast cancer between 1994 and 2008, treated with neoadjuvant anthracycline- and taxane-based chemotherapy, were included. pCR was defined as no residual invasive cancer in the breast and axilla. Kaplan-Meier product-limit was used to calculate survival outcomes. Cox proportional hazards models were fitted to determine the relationship of patient and tumor variables with outcome.
Median age was 50 years, 14.6% patients were black, 15.2% Hispanic, 64.3% White, and 5.9% other race. There were no differences in pCR rates among race/ethnicity: (12.3% in black, 14.2% in Hispanics, 12.3% in whites and 11.5% in others, p=.788). Lack of pCR, breast cancer subtype, grade 3 tumors, and lymphovascular invasion were associated with worse RFS and OS (p≤.0001). Differences in RFS by race/ethnicity were seen in the patients with hormone receptor-positive disease, p=.007. In multivariate analysis, Hispanics had improved RFS (HR, 95% CI 0.69; 0.49-0.97) and OS (HR, 95% CI 0.63; 0.41-0.97); blacks had a trend to worse outcomes (RFS:HR, 95% CI 1.28; 0.97-1.68, OS:HR, 1.32; 95% CI; 0.97-1.81) when compared to whites.
In this cohort of patients, race/ethnicity was not significantly associated with pCR rates. In a multivariate analysis we observed improved outcomes in Hispanics and a trend towards worse outcomes in black patients, when compared to whites. Further research is needed to explore the potential differences in biology and outcomes.
neoadjuvant chemotherapy; breast cancer; race; pathological complete response
We report a case of synchronous locally advanced bilateral breast cancer with different pathological responses to neoadjuvant chemotherapy with different biological character. The patient had presented bilateral breast cancer: the left breast cancer was hormone receptor negative, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) positive, and classified as T4bN1M0, stage IIIb, while the right was hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative, and classified as T4bN0M0, stage IIIb. We administered four cycles of anthracycline-based therapy followed by 12 weekly cycles of taxane with trastuzumab for neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We had achieved a significant left tumor reduction after each chemotherapy, but not right tumor. Bilateral modified radical mastectomies with axillary lymph-node dissection were performed. The therapeutic effect in the left was determined as a pathological complete response, in contrast to the right side. She has no recurrence for more than five years, though she had advanced cancer with oncologic emergency. This case could be an informative experience to understand the relation of tumor biology and response to systemic therapy.
Neoadjuvant therapy; Estrogen receptor; HER2; Bilateral breast cancer
Background: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with concurrent docetaxel, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide is commonly used for patients with locally advanced breast cancer. Epirubicin is another anthracycline used in breast cancer but the concurrent use of epirubicin and taxane is not well-established. We conducted a single institution, phase II study to assess the efficacy and safety of concurrent docetaxel, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide (TEC) as a neoadjuvant chemotherapy regimen in breast cancer. Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed locally advanced breast cancer defined as T2 >3 cm, T3, T4 with any N, or any T with N1-3 were eligible. A chemotherapy regimen of docetaxel 75mg/m2, epirubicin 75mg/m2 and cyclophosphamide 600mg/m2 was given with filgrastim support every 3 weeks for 6 cycles. The primary end-point was pathologic complete response rate. Results: Twenty patients were enrolled from 2003 to 2006. The median age was 51 (29-70) year-old. Eight patients were premenopausal. Ten patients had positive hormone receptors. Four patients had HER2 positive receptor. Nineteen patients completed six cycles of TEC chemotherapy. The pathologic complete response rate was 25%. Eight of sixteen patients with N1-3 disease had pathological negative lymph nodes. With a median follow up of 57.5 (16-71) months, four patients relapsed including one death from recurrence. The estimated 5 year relapse-free survival was 79.3% and the 5-year overall survival was 94.7%. No patient had cardiac failure or death during treatment. The most common grade 3-4 toxicity was neutropenia (35%). Conclusion: TEC regimen is a well- tolerated and effective neoadjuvant chemotherapy regimen for locally advanced breast cancer that results in a pathologic complete response rate of 25%.
Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy; Docetaxel; Epirubicin; Cyclophosphamide; Locally Advanced; Breast Cancer
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the standard care for locally advanced breast cancer. Our study aimed at evaluating the feasibility of breast conversation surgery (BCS) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Patients and methods
Forty five patients had stage IIB (except those with T2N1 disease) and stage IIIA were selected to 3 cycles taxane-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Patient who had tumours ≤5 cm underwent a tentative BCS while patients who had tumour size >5 cm underwent radical surgery. Negative margin is essential for BCS. Adjuvant chemotherapy and 3-D radiotherapy ± hormonal treatment were given to all patients.
Thirty four patients had BCS. Response to chemotherapy was the only statistically significant factor which influences the BCS. Incidence of local recurrence was 5.9% for patients who had BCS at a median follow up 24 months.
Breast conservation is feasible in selected cases of locally advanced, non metastatic cancer breast. We recommend that patients who have tumour size ≤4 cm after chemotherapy are the best candidates for BCS.
The dramatic improvement in local control of rectal cancer observed during the last decades is to be attributed to attention to surgical technique and to the introduction of neoadjuvant therapy regimens. Nevertheless, systemic relapse remains frequent and is currently insufficiently addressed. Intensification of neoadjuvant therapy by incorporating chemotherapy with or without targeted agents before the start of (chemo)radiation or during the waiting period to surgery may present an opportunity to improve overall survival. An increasing number of patients can nowadays undergo sphincter preserving surgery. In selected patients, local excision or even a “wait and see” approach may be feasible following active neoadjuvant therapy. Molecular and genetic biomarkers as well as innovative imaging techniques may in the future allow better selection of patients for this treatment option. Controversy persists concerning the selection of patients for adjuvant chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy after neoadjuvant regimens. The currently available evidence suggests that in complete pathological responders long-term outcome is excellent and adjuvant therapy may be omitted. The results of ongoing trials will help to establish the ideal tailored approach in resectable rectal cancer.
Findings from the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) –positive National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) B31 trial suggested that MYC/HER2 coamplification (> 5.0 copies/nucleus) was associated with additional benefit from adjuvant trastuzumab in patients with early-stage breast cancer. To further explore this relationship, we investigated associations between MYC amplification and disease-free survival (DFS) in a similar adjuvant trastuzumab HER2-positive breast cancer trial—North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) N9831.
Patients and Methods
This analysis included 799 patients randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy alone or with concurrent trastuzumab on N9831. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed by using a dual-probe mixture for MYC and centromere 8 (MYC:CEP8) on tissue microarrays. MYC amplification was prespecified as MYC:CEP8 ratio > 2.2 or average MYC copies/nucleus > 5.0. Exploratory variables included polysomy 8.
In comparing DFS (median follow-up, 4.0 years) between treatments, patients with MYC:CEP8 ratio ≤ 2.2 (n = 618; 77%) and > 2.2 (n = 181; 23%) had hazard ratios (HRs) of 0.46 (P < .001) and 0.67 (P = .33), respectively (interaction P = .38). Patients with MYC copies/nucleus ≤ 5.0 (n = 534; 67%) and > 5.0 (n = 265; 33%) had HRs of 0.52 (P = .002) and 0.48 (P = .02), respectively (interaction P = .94). Patients with MYC:CEP8 ratio < 1.3 with normal chromosome 8 copy number (n = 141; 18%) and ≥ 1.3 or < 1.3 with polysomy 8 (n = 658; 82%) had HRs of 0.66 (P = .28) and 0.44 (P < .001), respectively (interaction P = .23). Patients with MYC copies/nucleus < 2.5 (n = 130; 16%) and ≥ 2.5 (n = 669; 84%) had HRs of 1.07 (P = .87) and 0.42 (P < .001), respectively (interaction P = .05).
We did not confirm the B31 association between MYC amplification and additional trastuzumab benefit. Exploratory analyses revealed potential associations between alternative MYC/chromosome 8 copy number alterations and differential benefit of adjuvant trastuzumab.
Cytotoxic chemotherapy remains the mainstay of treatment for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) despite the promise of new targeted and biologic agents. Many studies have shown significant benefit of chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant and metastatic treatment of TNBC. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy studies have consistently reported higher response rates in TNBC than non-TNBC, and pathologic complete response has been shown to predict improved long term outcomes for TNBC. Although the specific adjuvant regimens that may be most effective for TNBC are still being determined, third generation chemotherapy regimens utilizing dose dense or metronomic polychemotherapy are among the most effective tools presently available. The role of specific chemotherapy agents in the treatment of TNBC remains incompletely defined and warrants careful review to ensure the most effective therapy is delivered while minimizing unnecessary toxicity. Platinum agents have seen renewed interest in TNBC based on a growing body of preclinical and clinical data suggesting encouraging activity. Taxanes and anthracyclines are active in TNBC and remain important agents, but have not shown specific benefit over non-TNBC. Capecitabine has limited reported data in TNBC, but some reports suggest differential activity in TNBC compared to hormone receptor positive breast cancer. TNBC is itself a heterogeneous group in which subgroups such as BRCA1 mutation carriers may have particular sensitivity to platinum agents and relatively less sensitivity to taxanes. Therefore, the identification of additional molecular biomarkers to predict response to specific chemotherapy is required to further improve treatment strategies with the current menu of chemotherapy options and future combinations with targeted therapies.
triple negative breast cancer; basal-like breast cancer; chemotherapy; cisplatin; carboplatin; neoadjuvant; metastatic
Since 2005, major progresses have been made in the neoadjuvant treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. Trastuzumab introduction associated with chemotherapy has been the first major step leading to the improvement of the complete pathological response rate and, like in the adjuvant studies, better survivals. Dual HER2 blockade has been the next step and trastuzumab is associated now with other anti-HER2 therapies like lapatinib or pertuzumab, the latter being much more easy to use in combination with chemotherapy. Additional knowledge is necessary to better define within the HER2 tumor subgroup which patients could benefit more from targeted therapies. Different biomarkers have been studied to predict the response after anti-HER2 neoadjuvant therapies but until now none has been validated.