Klinikum zum Roten Kreuz

München, Germany

Klinikum zum Roten Kreuz

München, Germany
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Von Minckwitz G.,German Breast Group | Eidtmann H.,Universitats Frauenklinik | Rezai M.,Luisenkrankenhaus | Fasching P.A.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | And 19 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor A, has shown clinical efficacy in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative metastatic breast cancer. We evaluated the efficacy, measured according to the rate of pathological complete response (absence of invasive and intraductal disease in the breast and the axillary lymph nodes), and the safety of adding bevacizumab to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with early-stage breast cancer. METHODS: We randomly assigned 1948 patients with a median tumor size of 40 mm on palpation to receive neoadjuvant epirubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by docetaxel, with or without concomitant bevacizumab. Patients with untreated HER2-negative breast cancer were eligible if they had large tumors, hormone-receptor-negative disease, or hormone-receptor-positive disease with palpable nodes or positive findings on sentinel-node biopsy, and no increased cardiovascular or bleeding risk. RESULTS: Overall, the rates of pathological complete response were 14.9% with epirubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by docetaxel and 18.4% with epirubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by docetaxel plus bevacizumab (odds ratio with addition of bevacizumab, 1.29; 95% confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.65; P = 0.04); the corresponding rates of pathological complete response were 27.9% and 39.3% among 663 patients with triple-negative tumors (P = 0.003) and 7.8% and 7.7% among 1262 patients with hormone-receptor-positive tumors (P = 1.00). Breast-conserving surgery was possible in 66.6% of the patients in both groups. The addition of bevacizumab, as compared with neoadjuvant therapy alone, was associated with a higher incidence of grade 3 or 4 toxic effects (febrile neutropenia, mucositis, the hand-foot syndrome, infection, and hypertension) but with a similar incidence of surgical complications. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of bevacizumab to neoadjuvant chemotherapy significantly increased the rate of pathological complete response among patients with HER2-negative early-stage breast cancer. Efficacy was restricted primarily to patients with triple-negative tumors, in whom the pathological complete response is considered to be a reliable predictor of long-term outcome. (Funded by Sanofi-Aventis and Roche, Germany; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00567554.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.


Untch M.,Helios Klinikum | Loibl S.,German Breast Group | Bischoff J.,Universitats Frauenklinik | Eidtmann H.,Universitats Frauenklinik | And 15 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2012

Background: We compared the efficacy and safety of the addition of lapatinib versus trastuzumab to anthracycline-taxane-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Methods: In the GeparQuinto randomised phase 3 trial, patients with untreated HER2-positive operable or locally advanced breast cancer were enrolled between Nov 7, 2007, and July 9, 2010. Patients were eligible if their tumours were classified as cT3/4a-d, or hormone receptor (HR)-negative, HR-positive with clinically node-positive and cT2 disease (cT2 cN+), or HR-positive and pathologically node-positive in the sentinel lymph node for those with cT1 disease (cT1 pN SLN+). Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive neoadjuvant treatment with four cycles of EC (epirubicin [90 mg/m 2 intravenously] plus cyclophosphamide [600 mg/m 2 intravenously], every 3 weeks), and four cycles of docetaxel (100 mg/m 2 intravenously every 3 weeks) with either trastuzumab (6 mg/kg intravenously, with a starting loading dose of 8 mg/kg, for eight cycles, every 3 weeks) or lapatinib (1000-1250 mg per day orally) throughout all cycles before surgery. Randomisation was done by dynamic allocation with the minimisation method of Pocock and patients were stratified by participating site, HR status, and extent of disease (cT1-3 cN0-2 vs T4 or N3). The primary endpoint was pathological complete response (defined as ypT0 and ypN0) and was analysed in all patients who received at least one cycle of EC. Participants and investigators were not masked to treatment assignment. Pathologists in centres assessing surgery outcomes were masked to group assignment. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00567554. Findings: Of 620 eligible patients, 309 were randomly assigned to chemotherapy with trastuzumab (ECH-TH group) and 311 to chemotherapy with lapatinib (ECL-TL group). Two patients in the ECH-TH group and three patients in the ECL-TL group did not start treatment because of withdrawal of consent or immediate surgery. 93 (30·3%) of 307 patients in the ECH-TH group and 70 (22·7%) of 308 patients in the ECL-TL group had a pathological complete response (odds ratio [OR] 0·68 [95%CI 0·47-0·97]; p=0·04). Chemotherapy with trastuzumab was associated with more oedema (119 [39·1%] vs 88 [28·7%]) and dyspnoea (90 [29·6%] vs 66 [21·4%]), and ECL-TL with more diarrhoea (231 [75·0%] vs 144 [47·4%]) and skin rash (169 [54·9%] vs 97 [31·9%]). 43 (14·0%) patients discontinued in the ECH-TH group and 102 (33·1%) in the ECL-TL group. 70 serious adverse events were reported in the ECH-TH group and 87 in the ECL-TL group. Interpretation: This direct comparison of trastuzumab and lapatinib showed that pathological complete response rate with chemotherapy and lapatinib was significantly lower than that with chemotherapy and trastuzumab. Unless long-term outcome data show different results, lapatinib should not be used outside of clinical trials as single anti-HER2-treatment in combination with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Funding: GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, and Sanofi-Aventis. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Von Minckwitz G.,C o GBG Forschungs GmbH | Untch M.,Helios Klinikum | Nuesch E.,University of Bern | Loibl S.,C o GBG Forschungs GmbH | And 19 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2011

Pathological complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant treatment correlates with outcome in breast cancer. We determined whether characteristics of neoadjuvant therapy are associated with pCR. We used multi-level models, which accounted for heterogeneity in pCR across trials and trial arms, to analyze individual patient data from 3332 women included in 7 German neoadjuvant trials with uniform protocols. PCR was associated with an increase in number of chemotherapy cycles (odds ratio [OR] 1.2 for every two additional cycles; P = 0.009), with higher cumulative anthracycline doses (OR 1.6; P = 0.002), higher cumulative taxane doses (OR 1.6; P = 0.009), and with capecitabine containing regimens (OR 1.62; P = 0.022). Association of pCR with increase in number of cycles appeared more pronounced in hormone receptor (HR)-positive tumors (OR 1.35) than in HR-negative tumors (OR 1.04; P for interaction = 0.046). Effect of anthracycline dose was particularly pronounced in HER2-negative tumors (OR 1.61), compared to HER2-positive tumors (OR 0.83; P for interaction = 0.14). Simultaneous trastuzumab treatment in HER2-positive tumors increased odds of pCR 3.2-fold (P < 0.001). No association of pCR and number of trastuzumab cycles was found (OR 1.20, P = 0.39). Dosing characteristics appear important for successful treatment of breast cancer. Longer treatment, higher cumulative doses of anthracyclines and taxanes, and the addition of capecitabine and trastuzumab are associated with better response. Tailoring according to breast cancer phenotype might be possible: longer treatment in HR-positive tumors, higher cumulative anthracycline doses for HER2-negative tumors, shorter treatment at higher cumulative doses for triple-negative tumors, and limited number of preoperative trastuzumab cycles in HER2-positive tumors. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Von Minckwitz G.,German Breast Group | Von Minckwitz G.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Schneeweiss A.,University of Heidelberg | Loibl S.,German Breast Group | And 22 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2014

Background: Preclinical data suggest that triple-negative breast cancers are sensitive to interstrand crosslinking agents, and that synergy may exist for the combination of a taxane, trastuzumab, and a platinum salt for HER2-positive breast cancer. We therefore aimed to assess the efficacy of the addition of carboplatin to neoadjuvant therapy for triple-negative and HER2-positive breast cancer. Methods: Patients with previously untreated, non-metastatic, stage II-III, triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-positive breast cancer were enrolled. Patients were treated for 18 weeks with paclitaxel (80 mg/m2 once a week) and non-pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (20 mg/m2 once a week). Patients with triple-negative breast cancer received simultaneous bevacizumab (15 mg/kg intravenously every 3 weeks). Patients with HER2-positive disease received simultaneous trastuzumab (8 mg/kg initial dose with subsequent doses of 6 mg/kg intravenously every 3 weeks) and lapatinib (750 mg daily). Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio with dynamic allocation and minimisation, stratified by biological subtype and Ki-67 level to receive, at the same time as the backbone regimens, either carboplatin (AUC 1·5 [2·0 for the first 329 patients] once a week) or no carboplatin. The primary endpoint the proportion of patients who achieved a pathological complete response (defined as ypT0 ypN0), analysed for all patients who started treatment; a p value of less than 0·2 was deemed significant for the primary endpoint. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01426880. Findings: 296 patients were randomly assigned to receive carboplatin and 299 to no additional carboplatin, of whom 295 and 293 started treatment, respectively. In this final analysis, 129 patients (43·7%, 95% CI 38·1-49·4) in the carboplatin group achieved a pathological complete response, compared with 108 patients (36·9%, 31·3-42·4) without carboplatin (odds ratio 1·33, 95% CI 0·96-1·85; p=0·107). Of the patients with triple-negative breast cancer, 84 (53·2%, 54·4-60·9) of 158 patients achieved a pathological complete response with carboplatin, compared with 58 (36·9%, 29·4-44·5) of 157 without (p=0·005). Of the patients with HER2-positive tumours, 45 (32·8%, 25·0-40·7) of 137 patients achieved a pathological complete response with carboplatin compared with 50 (36·8%, 28·7-44·9) of 136 without (p=0·581; test for interaction p=0·015). Haematological and non-haematological toxic effects that were significantly more common in the carboplatin group than in the no-carboplatin group included grade 3 or 4 neutropenia (192 [65%] vs 79 [27%]), grade 3 or 4 anaemia (45 [15%] vs one [<1%]), grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia (42 [14%] vs one [<1%]), and grade 3 or 4 diarrhoea (51 [17%] vs 32 [11%]); carboplatin was more often associated with dose discontinuations (141 [48%] with carboplatin and 114 [39%] without carboplatin; p=0·031). The frequency of grade 3 or 4 haematological events decreased from 82% (n=135) to 70% (n=92) and grade 3 or 4 non-haematological events from 78% (n=128) to 59% (n=77) in the carboplatin arm when the dose of carboplatin was reduced from AUC 2·0 to 1·5. Interpretation: The addition of neoadjuvant carboplatin to a regimen of a taxane, an anthracycline, and targeted therapy significantly increases the proportion of patients achieving a pathological complete response. This regimen seems to increase responses in patients with triple-negative breast cancer, but not in those with HER2-positive breast cancer. Funding: GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, and Teva. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


von Minckwitz G.,German Breast Group | von Minckwitz G.,University Hospital | Rezai M.,Breast Center | Fasching P.A.,University Hospital | And 15 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2014

Background: The GeparQuattro study showed that adding capecitabine or prolonging the duration of anthracyclinetaxane-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. Clinical trial number: NCT 00288002, www.clinicaltrials.gov. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology.


PubMed | Klinikum Offenbach, Universitats Frauenklinik Rostock, Sankt Gertrauden Krankenhaus, Charité - Medical University of Berlin and 10 more.
Type: | Journal: European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990) | Year: 2016

Pathologic complete response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) correlates with overall survival (OS) in primary breast cancer. A recently described staging system based on pre-treatment clinical stage (CS), final pathological stage (PS), estrogen receptor (ER) status and nuclear grade (NG) leads to a refined estimation of prognosis in unselected patients. Its performance in luminal type breast cancers has not been determined. This study investigates the clinical utility of this CPS+EG score when restricted to hormone receptor-positive (HR+)/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-) patients and compares the results to a cohort of unselected patients.The CPS+EG score was calculated for 6637 unselected patients and 2454 patients with HR+/HER2- tumours who received anthracycline/taxane-based NACT within 8 prospective German trials.Five-year disease-free survival (DFS) and OS were 75.6% and 84.1% for the unselected cohort and 80.6% and 87.8% for the HR+/HER2- subgroup, respectively. The CPS+EG system distinguished different prognostic groups with 5-year DFS ranging from 0% to 91%. The CPS+EG system leads to an improved categorisation of patients by outcome compared to CS, PS, ER or NG alone. When applying the CPS+EG score to the HR+/HER2- subgroup, a shift to lower scores was observed compared to the overall population, but 5-year DFS and OS for the individual scores were identical to that observed in the overall population.In HR+/HER2- patients, the CPS+EG staging system retains its ability to facilitate a refined stratification of patients according to outcome. It can help to select candidates for post-neoadjuvant clinical trials in luminal breast cancer.


PubMed | University of Tübingen, Praxisklinik, St Johannes Hospital, St Getrauden Breast Center and 16 more.
Type: Clinical Trial, Phase III | Journal: International journal of cancer | Year: 2015

Studies assessing the effect of bevacizumab (BEV) on breast cancer (BC) outcome have shown different effects on progression-free and overall survival, suggesting that a subgroup of patients may benefit from this treatment. Unfortunately, no biomarkers exist to identify these patients. Here, we investigate whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in VEGF pathway genes correlate with pathological complete response (pCR) in the neoadjuvant GeparQuinto trial. HER2-negative patients were randomized into treatment arms receiving either BEV combined with standard chemotherapy or chemotherapy alone. In a pre-planned biomarker study, DNA was collected from 729 and 724 patients, respectively from both treatment arms, and genotyped for 125 SNPs. Logistic regression assessed interaction between individual SNPs and both treatment arms to predict pCR. Five SNPs may be associated with a better response to BEV, but none of them remained significant after correction for multiple testing. The two SNPs most strongly associated, rs833058 and rs699947, were located upstream of the VEGF-A promoter. Odds ratios for the homozygous common, heterozygous and homozygous rare rs833058 genotypes were 2.36 (95% CI, 1.49-3.75), 1.20 (95% CI, 0.88-1.64) and 0.61 (95% CI, 0.34-1.12). Notably, some SNPs in VEGF-A exhibited a more pronounced effect in the triple-negative subgroup. Several SNPs in VEGF-A may be associated with improved pCR when receiving BEV in the neoadjuvant setting. Although none of the observed effects survived correction for multiple testing, our observations are consistent with previous studies on BEV efficacy in BC. Further research is warranted to clarify the predictive value of these markers.


PubMed | St. Gertrauden Krankenhaus, University of Kiel, University of Rostock, University of Heidelberg and 11 more.
Type: Clinical Trial, Phase II | Journal: Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Dual anti-HER2 blockade with trastuzumab/pertuzumab or trastuzumab/lapatinib in combination with anthracycline/taxane-based chemotherapy can reach pathologic complete response (pCR) rates of up to 60% in HER2-positive breast cancer. The DAFNE (Dual blockade with AFatinib and trastuzumab as NEoadjuvant treatment) phase II study (NCT015591477) investigated a dual blockade with the irreversible pan-HER inhibitor afatinib and trastuzumab in this setting.Participants with untreated, centrally HER2-positive breast cancer were treated for 6 weeks with afatinib (20 mg/d) and trastuzumab [(8) 6 mg/kg/3 weeks] alone; followed by 12-week treatment with paclitaxel (80 mg/m(2)/1 week), trastuzumab, and afatinib; followed by 12 weeks with epirubicin (90 mg/m(2)/3 weeks), cyclophosphamide (600 mg/m(2)/3 weeks), and trastuzumab before surgery. Primary objective was pCR rate, defined as ypT0/is ypN0. We expected a pCR rate of 70%; 65 patients were needed to exclude a rate of 55%.pCR rate was 49.2% [90% confidence interval (CI), 38.5-60.1] in 65 treated patients. Patients with hormone receptor-negative (N = 19) or hormone receptor-positive (N = 46) tumors showed pCR rates of 63.2% and 43.5%, respectively (P = 0.153). Patients with (N = 9) or without (N = 56) lymphocyte predominant breast cancer (LPBC) showed pCR rates of 100% and 41.1%, respectively (P < 0.001). PCR rate was not different in patients with or without PIK3CA tumor mutations (P = 0.363). Clinical responses were seen in 96.3% of 54 evaluable patients, and breast conserving surgery was possible in 59.4% of 62 assessable patients. Most frequent nonhematologic grade 3-4 toxicities were diarrhea (7.7%), increased creatinine (4.6%), and infection (4.6%). One patient developed symptomatic congestive heart failure.Neoadjuvant treatment with afatinib, trastuzumab, and chemotherapy showed acceptable tolerability, and a pCR rate comparable with that of other anti-HER2 doublets but below challenging expectations.


Untch M.,HELIOS Klinikum Berlin Buch | Jackisch C.,Sana Klinikum | Schneeweiss A.,University of Heidelberg | Conrad B.,St Elisabeth Krankenhaus | And 21 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2016

Background: In metastatic breast cancer, nab-paclitaxel has been shown to significantly increase progression-free survival compared with solvent-based paclitaxel. The GeparSepto (GBG 69) trial assessed whether weekly nab-paclitaxel could increase the proportion of patients achieving pathological complete response compared with weekly solvent-based paclitaxel, both followed by epirubicin plus cyclophosphamide as neoadjuvant treatment. Method: In a phase 3 randomised trial, we enrolled patients with previously untreated unilateral or bilateral primary invasive breast cancer and randomly assigned them in a 1:1 ratio using dynamic allocation and Pocock minimisation by breast cancer subtype, Ki67 and SPARC expression. Patients were treated for 12 weeks with either intravenous nab-paclitaxel 150 mg/m2 (after study amendment, 125 mg/m2) on days 1, 8, and 15 for four 3-week cycles, or solvent-based intravenous paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 for four 3-week cycles. Taxane treatment was followed in both groups by intravenous epirubicin 90 mg/m2 plus intravenous cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m2 on day 1 for four 3-week cycles. Patients with HER2-positive tumours received concurrent trastuzumab 6 mg/kg (loading dose 8 mg/kg) and pertuzumab 420 mg (loading dose 840 mg) on day 1 of every 3-week cycle. Trastuzumab and pertuzumab were given every 3 weeks concomitantly with chemotherapy for all cycles. This report is the final analysis of the primary endpoint, pathological complete response (ypT0 ypN0), analysed for all patients who started treatment (modified intention to treat). We used a closed test procedure to test for non-inferiority, with the nab-paclitaxel group calculated as non-inferior to the solvent-based paclitaxel group if the lower 95% CI for the OR was above 0·858 (OR equivalent to pathological complete response [33%] minus a 10% non-inferiority margin [3·3%]; 29·7%). We planned to test for superiority only in case of a positive non-inferiority test, using an α of 0·05. Safety was assessed in all patients who received study drug. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01583426. Findings: Between July 30, 2012, and Dec 23, 2013, we randomly assigned 1229 women, of whom 1206 started treatment (606 with nab-paclitaxel and 600 with solvent-based paclitaxel). The nab-paclitaxel dose was reduced after enrolment of 464 participants to 125 mg/m2 due to increased treatment discontinuation and sensory neuropathy in this group. Pathological complete response occurred more frequently in the nab-paclitaxel group (233 [38%, 95% CI 35-42] patients) than in the solvent-based paclitaxel group (174 [29%, 25-33] patients; OR 1·53, 95% CI 1·20-1·95; unadjusted p=0·00065). The incidence of grade 3-4 anaemia (13 [2%] of 605 patients in the nab-paclitaxel group vs four [1%] of patients in the solvent-based paclitaxel group; p=0·048) and peripheral sensory neuropathy grade 3-4 (63 [10%] patients receiving any nab-paclitaxel dose; 31 [8%] of patients starting with 125 mg/m2 and 32 [15%] of patients starting with 150 mg/m2; vs 16 [3%] in the solvent-based paclitaxel group, p<0·001) was significantly higher for nab-paclitaxel than for solvent-based paclitaxel. Overall, 283 (23%) patients were noted to have at least one serious adverse event (based on study drug received), 156 (26%) in the nab-paclitaxel group and 127 (21%) in the solvent-based paclitaxel group (p=0·057). There were three deaths (during epirubicin plus cyclophosphamide treatment) in the nab-paclitaxel group (due to sepsis, diarrhoea, and accident unrelated to the trial) versus one in the solvent-based paclitaxel group (during paclitaxel treatment; cardiac failure). Interpretation: Substituting solvent-based paclitaxel with nab-paclitaxel significantly increases the proportion of patients achieving a pathological complete response rate after anthracycline-based chemotherapy. These results might lead to an exchange of the preferred taxane, solvent-based paclitaxel, for nab-paclitaxel in therapy for primary breast cancer. Funding: Celgene, Roche. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | Interdisziplinares Brustzentrum an den Kliniken Essen Mitte, Sana Klinikum, Krankenhaus Eilenriede, Klinik fur Gynakologie am Campus Charite Mitte and 16 more.
Type: Clinical Trial, Phase III | Journal: The Lancet. Oncology | Year: 2016

In metastatic breast cancer, nab-paclitaxel has been shown to significantly increase progression-free survival compared with solvent-based paclitaxel. The GeparSepto (GBG 69) trial assessed whether weekly nab-paclitaxel could increase the proportion of patients achieving pathological complete response compared with weekly solvent-based paclitaxel, both followed by epirubicin plus cyclophosphamide as neoadjuvant treatment.In a phase 3 randomised trial, we enrolled patients with previously untreated unilateral or bilateral primary invasive breast cancer and randomly assigned them in a 1:1 ratio using dynamic allocation and Pocock minimisation by breast cancer subtype, Ki67 and SPARC expression. Patients were treated for 12 weeks with either intravenous nab-paclitaxel 150 mg/m(2) (after study amendment, 125 mg/m(2)) on days 1, 8, and 15 for four 3-week cycles, or solvent-based intravenous paclitaxel 80 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8, and 15 for four 3-week cycles. Taxane treatment was followed in both groups by intravenous epirubicin 90 mg/m(2) plus intravenous cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m(2) on day 1 for four 3-week cycles. Patients with HER2-positive tumours received concurrent trastuzumab 6 mg/kg (loading dose 8 mg/kg) and pertuzumab 420 mg (loading dose 840 mg) on day 1 of every 3-week cycle. Trastuzumab and pertuzumab were given every 3 weeks concomitantly with chemotherapy for all cycles. This report is the final analysis of the primary endpoint, pathological complete response (ypT0 ypN0), analysed for all patients who started treatment (modified intention to treat). We used a closed test procedure to test for non-inferiority, with the nab-paclitaxel group calculated as non-inferior to the solvent-based paclitaxel group if the lower 95% CI for the OR was above 0858 (OR equivalent to pathological complete response [33%] minus a 10% non-inferiority margin [33%]; 297%). We planned to test for superiority only in case of a positive non-inferiority test, using an of 005. Safety was assessed in all patients who received study drug. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01583426.Between July 30, 2012, and Dec 23, 2013, we randomly assigned 1229 women, of whom 1206 started treatment (606 with nab-paclitaxel and 600 with solvent-based paclitaxel). The nab-paclitaxel dose was reduced after enrolment of 464 participants to 125 mg/m(2) due to increased treatment discontinuation and sensory neuropathy in this group. Pathological complete response occurred more frequently in the nab-paclitaxel group (233 [38%, 95% CI 35-42] patients) than in the solvent-based paclitaxel group (174 [29%, 25-33] patients; OR 153, 95% CI 120-195; unadjusted p=000065). The incidence of grade 3-4 anaemia (13 [2%] of 605 patients in the nab-paclitaxel group vs four [1%] of patients in the solvent-based paclitaxel group; p=0048) and peripheral sensory neuropathy grade 3-4 (63 [10%] patients receiving any nab-paclitaxel dose; 31 [8%] of patients starting with 125 mg/m(2) and 32 [15%] of patients starting with 150 mg/m(2); vs 16 [3%] in the solvent-based paclitaxel group, p<0001) was significantly higher for nab-paclitaxel than for solvent-based paclitaxel. Overall, 283 (23%) patients were noted to have at least one serious adverse event (based on study drug received), 156 (26%) in the nab-paclitaxel group and 127 (21%) in the solvent-based paclitaxel group (p=0057). There were three deaths (during epirubicin plus cyclophosphamide treatment) in the nab-paclitaxel group (due to sepsis, diarrhoea, and accident unrelated to the trial) versus one in the solvent-based paclitaxel group (during paclitaxel treatment; cardiac failure).Substituting solvent-based paclitaxel with nab-paclitaxel significantly increases the proportion of patients achieving a pathological complete response rate after anthracycline-based chemotherapy. These results might lead to an exchange of the preferred taxane, solvent-based paclitaxel, for nab-paclitaxel in therapy for primary breast cancer.Celgene, Roche.

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