ASCO 2018—Short-course trastuzumab effective in early breast cancer


  • Univadis
  • Univadis
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Takeaway

  • A reduced course of trastuzumab treatment protects as well as longer therapy.

Why this matters

  • Trastuzumab is associated with cardiotoxicity.
  • A shorter course could reduce costs as well.

Key results

  • After 5 years, 89.4% of women treated for 6 months achieved disease-free survival (DFS).
  • After 5 years, 89.8% of women treated for 12 months achieved DFS.
  • The difference fell well within the prespecified margins for noninferiority (P=.01).
  • The incidence of cardiotoxicity was decreased by 50% among those treated for 6 months.

Study design

  • The phase 3 noninferiority trial enrolled women who were HER2-positive and were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.
  • The researchers assigned 2045 women to receive 12 months of therapy with trastuzumab.
  • The researchers assigned 2043 women to receive 6 months of therapy with trastuzumab.

Limitations

  • The trial lasted for 5 years, which may be too short to fully evaluate breast cancer recurrence.

Expert comment

  • "By reducing treatment by half, we are able to cut down on the numbers of people who had to stop treatment due to cardiotoxicity, and there may be a reduction in costs as well." Bruce Johnson, MD, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, who was not part of the research team.

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