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Randomized phase II study comparing efficacy and safety of combination-therapy trastuzumab and docetaxel vs. sequential therapy of trastuzumab followed by docetaxel alone at progression as first-line chemotherapy in patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer: HERTAX trial.

Author(s): Hamberg P, Bos MM, Braun HJ, Stouthard JM, van Deijk GA, Erdkamp FL, van der Stelt-Frissen IN, Bontenbal M, Creemers GJ, Portielje JE, Pruijt JF, Loosveld OJ, Smit WM, Muller EW, Schmitz PI, Seynaeve C, Klijn JG

Affiliation(s): Department of Medical Oncology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. a.hamberg@erasmusmc.nl

Publication date & source: 2011-04, Clin Breast Cancer., 11(2):103-13. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

Publication type: Clinical Trial, Phase II; Comparative Study; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

BACKGROUND: Because chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is associated with relevant toxicity, sequential monotherapy trastuzumab followed by cytotoxic therapy at disease progression might be an attractive approach. METHODS: In a multicenter phase II trial, 101 patients with overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2(+)) MBC were randomized between combination-therapy trastuzumab (Herceptin) plus docetaxel (H+D) and sequential therapy of single-agent trastuzumab followed at disease progression by docetaxel alone (H-->D) as first-line chemotherapy for metastatic disease. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) after completed sequential or combination therapy. RESULTS: For the H+D group the median PFS was 9.4 vs. 9.9 months for the H-->D group and 1-year PFS rates were 44% vs. 35%, respectively. However the overall response rates (ORRs) were 79% vs. 53%, respectively (P = .016), and overall survival was 30.5 vs. 19.7 months, respectively (P = .11). In the H-->D group, response rates to monotherapy trastuzumab and subsequent docetaxel were 34% and 39%, respectively, with a median PFS during single-agent trastuzumab of 3.9 months. The incidence and severity of neuropathy were significantly higher in the H+D group. Retrospective analysis of trastuzumab treatment beyond progression (applied in 46% of patients in the H+D group and 37% in the H-->D group) showed a correlation with longer overall survival in both treatment arms (36.0 vs. 18.0 months and 30.3 vs. 18.6 months, respectively). CONCLUSION: First-line treatment in patients with MBC with H-->D resulted in a similar PFS compared with H+D, but the response rate was lower and the overall survival nonsignificantly shorter. Copyright (c) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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