Expert Discusses Latest Data in Neoadjuvant HER2+ Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Results from the KRISTINE and NSABP B-41 trials presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting provided the latest data on the use of pertuzumab (Perjeta), trastuzumab (Herceptin), ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla), and lapatinib (Tykerb) for the neoadjuvant treatment of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.

“In a lecture at the conference, Stephen K. Chia, MD, an assistant professor in the division of Medical Oncology at the University of British Columbia, highlighted the key findings from these trials and their implications for the treatment of HER2+ breast cancer.”

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Neoadjuvant HER2+ Breast Cancer Options Need Refinement, Expert Says

Excerpt:

“While recent findings from the I-SPY 2 trial have shown potential with the combination of ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla) and pertuzumab (Perjeta) for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, the neoadjuvant space still has a lot of work ahead, according to Lisa A. Carey, MD.

“Results presented at the 2016 AACR Annual Meeting1 showed that, out of the 249 patients enrolled on the I-SPY 2 study, 54% of those who received T-DM1/pertuzumab experienced a pathological complete response (pCR) rate compared with 22% of those who received the combination of paclitaxel (Abraxane) plus trastuzumab (Herceptin).

“This suggests that T-DM1 could increase overall survival (OS) in this patient population, but Carey adds more research with the regimen needs to be conducted.”

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Comparing Combination Treatments in HER2-Positive Early Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“In patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer, data from a phase III trial has shown a significantly higher pathological complete response (pCR) rate with neoadjuvant docetaxel plus carboplatin plus trastuzumab plus pertuzumab (TCH+P) versus trastuzumab emtansine plus pertuzumab (T-DM1+P).

“According to the results of the KRISTINE trial, the TCH+P regimen was also associated with a higher rate of breast conserving surgery. However, researchers reported that T-DM1+P had a notably better safety profile and that health-related quality of life and physical functioning were maintained longer.

“ ‘Neoadjuvant TCH+P achieved a superior pCR rate compared with T-DM1+P and was associated with a higher breast-conserving-surgery rate,’ said Sara A. Hurvitz, MD, General Internal Medicine, Hematology & Oncology, UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, CA. ‘However, neoadjuvant T-DM1+P had a more favorable safety profile, with lower incidence of grade 3 or greater adverse events, serious adverse events, and adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation.’ ”

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​​A Presurgery Combination Therapy May Improve Outcomes for Women With HER2-positive Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Results from the I-SPY 2 TRIAL show that a neoadjuvant (presurgery) therapy combination of the antibody-drug conjugate trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla) and pertuzumab (Perjeta) was more beneficial than paclitaxel plus trastuzumab for women with HER2-positive invasive breast cancer, according to research presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016, April 16-20.

“In this portion of the I-SPY2 TRIAL, the investigators tested if T-DM1 plus pertuzumab could bring a substantially greater proportion of patients to the primary endpoint of pathological complete response [pCR] compared with paclitaxel plus trastuzumab. They also examined whether this combination could meet that goal without the need for patients to receive paclitaxel. pCR is an outcome in which, following neoadjuvant therapy, no residual invasive cancer is detected in the breast tissue and lymph nodes removed during surgery.”

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Study Moves T-VEC Into Neoadjuvant Melanoma Setting

Excerpt:

“Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC; Imlygic), an oncolytic viral immunotherapy approved for patients with melanoma, is being evaluated in a presurgical setting in a phase II clinical trial that may help set the stage for expanding the toolkit of neoadjuvant options for patients with the malignancy.

“Although new targeted and immunotherapy agents for patients with melanoma have been introduced in recent years in advanced and metastatic settings, there is a need for approaches that attack the disease earlier and prevent recurrence, said Robert H.I. Andtbacka, MD, the principal investigator for the T-VEC study. ‘I think it’s the next logical step for us to take in melanoma—to try to find better ways to activate the patient’s own immune system where the tumor is still in situ,’ Andtbacka said in an interview with OncLive. ‘Many of our colleagues in other tumor sites such as breast cancer and colon cancer have done this for many, many years, so we’ve been lagging a little bit behind in melanoma. But now I think we have good, effective therapies that we can start to ask these neoadjuvant questions.’ ”

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Neoadjuvant Endocrine Therapy Underused for Breast Cancer

“Roughly 5 years ago, a study demonstrated that neoadjuvant endocrine therapy increases the rates of breast conservation surgery in patients with breast cancer as a result of the downstaging of disease.

“Now, an analysis of roughly 80,000 women with breast cancer in the United States shows that this study has done little to increase the use of this treatment modality.

” ‘Neoadjuvant endocrine therapy use has increased since the publication of Z1031 [the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) Z1031 study]. However, the overall rate of neoadjuvant endocrine therapy use is low, at 3.2%,’ said Akiko Chiba, MD, a breast surgery fellow at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, who presented the study at the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) 2016 Cancer Symposium.”


Capecitabine Improved Outcomes for Breast Cancer Patients with Disease after Presurgery Chemo

“Treatment with the chemotherapy agent capecitabine increased disease-free survival for women with HER2-negative breast cancer that was not eliminated by presurgery chemotherapy, according to results from the phase III CREATE-X clinical trial presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 8-12.

“Treatment given to shrink or eliminate a tumor before surgery is called neoadjuvant therapy. In some patients with breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, residual invasive cancer can be detected in breast tissue samples and lymph nodes removed during surgery. These patients tend to have worse long-term outcomes compared with women who respond completely to neoadjuvant therapy.

” ‘It has been suggested that patients with residual invasive disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy have chemoresistant breast cancer, but there have been no large-scale clinical trials to test whether adjuvant systemic chemotherapy is beneficial for these patients,’ said Masakazu Toi, MD, PhD, a professor at Kyoto University Hospital in Japan, and founder and senior director of the Japan Breast Cancer Research Group (JBCRG). ‘CREATE-X was designed to evaluate this clinical question by testing whether capecitabine could improve disease-free survival for patients with residual invasive disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.’ “


Dual HER2 Blockade Fails to Improve Response Rate in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

“Dual HER2 blockade with trastuzumab and lapatinib was no better than trastuzumab alone in producing pathologic complete responses (pCR) in metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer patients in the neoadjuvant setting, according to a new study. Those with hormone receptor–negative disease did see an improvement with the dual blockade.

“ ‘In randomized neoadjuvant trials, dual HER2 targeting generally results in higher pCR rates, but the magnitude of this effect has varied,’ wrote study authors led by Lisa A. Carey, MD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The new trial was a three-arm study of preoperative therapy in 305 patients with stage II/III HER2-positive breast cancer; 118 patients were randomized to paclitaxel along with trastuzumab and lapatinib, 120 to paclitaxel with trastuzumab alone, and another 67 to paclitaxel along with only lapatinib. That last trial arm was closed early. Results were published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”


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Women diagnosed with localized breast cancer face difficult decisions with their doctors. What kind of neoadjuvant (before surgery) treatment to choose? Should chemotherapy follow surgery? Based on the subtype of breast cancer, should specific chemotherapy drugs be used? Continue reading…