Swiss Center for Breast Health

Lugano, Switzerland

Swiss Center for Breast Health

Lugano, Switzerland

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Baselga J.,Harvard University | Baselga J.,SOLTI Breast Cancer Research Group | Bradbury I.,Frontier Science Scotland | Bradbury I.,Queen's University of Belfast | And 28 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2012

Background: The anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody trastuzumab and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor lapatinib have complementary mechanisms of action and synergistic antitumour activity in models of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer. We argue that the two anti-HER2 agents given together would be better than single-agent therapy. Methods: In this parallel groups, randomised, open-label, phase 3 study undertaken between Jan 5, 2008, and May 27, 2010, women from 23 countries with HER2-positive primary breast cancer with tumours greater than 2 cm in diameter were randomly assigned to oral lapatinib (1500 mg), intravenous trastuzumab (loading dose 4 mg/m 2, subsequent doses 2 mg/kg), or lapatinib (1000 mg) plus trastuzumab. Treatment allocation was by stratified, permuted blocks randomisation, with four stratification factors. Anti-HER2 therapy alone was given for the first 6 weeks; weekly paclitaxel (80 mg/m 2) was then added to the regimen for a further 12 weeks, before definitive surgery was undertaken. After surgery, patients received adjuvant chemotherapy followed by the same targeted therapy as in the neoadjuvant phase to 52 weeks. The primary endpoint was the rate of pathological complete response (pCR), analysed by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00553358. Findings: 154 patients received lapatinib, 149 trastuzumab, and 152 the combination. pCR rate was significantly higher in the group given lapatinib and trastuzumab (78 of 152 patients [51·3; 95 CI 43·1-59·5]) than in the group given trastuzumab alone (44 of 149 patients [29·5; 22·4-37·5]; difference 21·1, 9·1-34·2, p=0·0001). We recorded no significant difference in pCR between the lapatinib (38 of 154 patients [24·7, 18·1-32·3]) and the trastuzumab (difference -4·8, -17·6 to 8·2, p=0·34) groups. No major cardiac dysfunctions occurred. Frequency of grade 3 diarrhoea was higher with lapatinib (36 patients [23·4]) and lapatinib plus trastuzumab (32 [21·1]) than with trastuzumab (three [2·0]). Similarly, grade 3 liver-enzyme alterations were more frequent with lapatinib (27 [17·5]) and lapatinib plus trastuzumab (15 [9·9]) than with trastuzumab (11 [7·4]). Interpretation: Dual inhibition of HER2 might be a valid approach to treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer in the neoadjuvant setting. Funding: GlaxoSmithKline. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Dellapasqua S.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Maisonneuve P.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Viale G.,University of Milan | Pruneri G.,University of Milan | And 10 more authors.
Clinical Breast Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: Conflicting data are available in the literature on the outcome of invasive apocrine carcinoma (IAC), possibly related to a heterogeneous classification of these tumors. Patients and Methods: A series of 6899 consecutive patients with invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) not otherwise specified and 72 patients with immunohistochemically defined IAC who received surgery at the European Institute of Oncology between 1997 and 2005 were included. We then explored patterns of recurrence of IAC according to 2 immunohistochemically defined tumor subtypes: pure apocrine carcinoma (estrogen [ER] and progesterone [PgR] receptor negative, and AR positive) and apocrine-like carcinoma (ER or PgR positive and AR negative). Results: The diagnosis of pure apocrine carcinoma was correlated with a worse outcome in terms of DFS (hazard ratio [HR] 1.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-2.86; P =.0010) if compared with IDC, whereas IDC and apocrine-like breast cancers showed a similar outcome in terms of DFS and overall survival. Patients with pure apocrine carcinoma had an increased risk in contralateral breast cancer (HR, 4.12; 95% CI, 1.22-14; P =.02). Conclusion: Pure apocrine carcinoma represents a distinct subtype of breast cancer with a significantly worse DFS as compared with IDC. AR determination might have an important prognostic implication in IAC. Moreover, AR-targeted therapy should be further explored within these tumors. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Regan M.M.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Regan M.M.,Harvard University | Neven P.,Catholic University of Leuven | Giobbie-Hurder A.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | And 17 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2011

Background: Postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer have persistent, long-term risk of breast-cancer recurrence and death. Therefore, trials assessing endocrine therapies for this patient population need extended follow-up. We present an update of efficacy outcomes in the Breast International Group (BIG) 1-98 study at 8·1 years median follow-up. Methods: BIG 1-98 is a randomised, phase 3, double-blind trial of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer that compares 5 years of tamoxifen or letrozole monotherapy, or sequential treatment with 2 years of one of these drugs followed by 3 years of the other. Randomisation was done with permuted blocks, and stratified according to the two-arm or four-arm randomisation option, participating institution, and chemotherapy use. Patients, investigators, data managers, and medical reviewers were masked. The primary efficacy endpoint was disease-free survival (events were invasive breast cancer relapse, second primaries [contralateral breast and non-breast], or death without previous cancer event). Secondary endpoints were overall survival, distant recurrence-free interval (DRFI), and breast cancer-free interval (BCFI). The monotherapy comparison included patients randomly assigned to tamoxifen or letrozole for 5 years. In 2005, after a significant disease-free survival benefit was reported for letrozole as compared with tamoxifen, a protocol amendment facilitated the crossover to letrozole of patients who were still receiving tamoxifen alone; Cox models and Kaplan-Meier estimates with inverse probability of censoring weighting (IPCW) are used to account for selective crossover to letrozole of patients (n=619) in the tamoxifen arm. Comparison of sequential treatments to letrozole monotherapy included patients enrolled and randomly assigned to letrozole for 5 years, letrozole for 2 years followed by tamoxifen for 3 years, or tamoxifen for 2 years followed by letrozole for 3 years. Treatment has ended for all patients and detailed safety results for adverse events that occurred during the 5 years of treatment have been reported elsewhere. Follow-up is continuing for those enrolled in the four-arm option. BIG 1-98 is registered at clinicaltrials.gov NCT00004205. Findings: 8010 patients were included in the trial, with a median follow-up of 8·1 years (range 0-12·4). 2459 were randomly assigned to monotherapy with tamoxifen for 5 years and 2463 to monotherapy with letrozole for 5 years. In the four-arm option of the trial, 1546 were randomly assigned to letrozole for 5 years, 1548 to tamoxifen for 5 years, 1540 to letrozole for 2 years followed by tamoxifen for 3 years, and 1548 to tamoxifen for 2 years followed by letrozole for 3 years. At a median follow-up of 8·7 years from randomisation (range 0-12·4), letrozole monotherapy was significantly better than tamoxifen, whether by IPCW or intention-to-treat analysis (IPCW disease-free survival HR 0·82 [95% CI 0·74-0·92], overall survival HR 0·79 [0·69-0·90], DRFI HR 0·79 [0·68-0·92], BCFI HR 0·80 [0·70-0·92]; intention-to-treat disease-free survival HR 0·86 [0·78-0·96], overall survival HR 0·87 [0·77-0·999], DRFI HR 0·86 [0·74-0·998], BCFI HR 0·86 [0·76-0·98]). At a median follow-up of 8·0 years from randomisation (range 0-11·2) for the comparison of the sequential groups with letrozole monotherapy, there were no statistically significant differences in any of the four endpoints for either sequence. 8-year intention-to-treat estimates (each with SE ≤1·1%) for letrozole monotherapy, letrozole followed by tamoxifen, and tamoxifen followed by letrozole were 78·6%, 77·8%, 77·3% for disease-free survival; 87·5%, 87·7%, 85·9% for overall survival; 89·9%, 88·7%, 88·1% for DRFI; and 86·1%, 85·3%, 84·3% for BCFI. Interpretation: For postmenopausal women with endocrine-responsive early breast cancer, a reduction in breast cancer recurrence and mortality is obtained by letrozole monotherapy when compared with tamoxifen montherapy. Sequential treatments involving tamoxifen and letrozole do not improve outcome compared with letrozole monotherapy, but might be useful strategies when considering an individual patient's risk of recurrence and treatment tolerability. Funding: Novartis, United States National Cancer Institute, International Breast Cancer Study Group. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Metzger-Filho O.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | de Azambuja E.,Free University of Colombia | Procter M.,Frontier Science Scotland Ltd | Krieguer M.,Free University of Colombia | And 11 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2016

This retrospective analysis conducted using data from patients enrolled onto the Herceptin Adjuvant has two objectives: The first is to evaluate the impact of the time interval between the end of adjuvant trastuzumab and distant recurrence (TDRI) upon overall survival (OS). The second is to describe the duration of trastuzumab-based regimens in the metastatic setting for patients previously treated with adjuvant trastuzumab. The first objective included 187 patients treated with adjuvant trastuzumab and diagnosed with distant recurrence at 4-year median follow-up. The second objective included data from questionnaires sent to investigators retreating patients with trastuzumab upon distant recurrence: 144 of 156 questionnaires were returned (93 %), and 90 patients were selected based on available clinical information and consent for subsequent studies. There was no statistically significant relationship between TDRI following 1 year of adjuvant trastuzumab and OS from distant recurrence: hazard ratio 0.991, p = 0.46. The median OS from distant recurrence was numerically longer among patients with a TDRI of ≥12 months (n = 103) than <12 months (n = 84) but not statistically significant (23.7 vs. 17.8 months, p = 0.47). The median duration of first-line trastuzumab-based regimens for patients previously treated with adjuvant trastuzumab and diagnosed with distant disease recurrence was 8.8 months (n = 88). This retrospective, exploratory study suggests that TDRI did not impact on OS measured from distant recurrence. We argue that prospective collection of treatment information beyond disease progression should be included in future clinical studies. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Regan M.M.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Regan M.M.,Harvard University | Leyland-Jones B.,Emory University | Bouzyk M.,Emory University | And 31 more authors.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2012

Background Adjuvant tamoxifen therapy is effective for postmenopausal women with endocrine-responsive breast cancer. Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) enzyme metabolizes tamoxifen to clinically active metabolites, and CYP2D6 polymorphisms may adversely affect tamoxifen efficacy. In this study, we investigated the clinical relevance of CYP2D6 polymorphisms. MethodsWe obtained tumor tissues and isolated DNA from 4861 of 8010 postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer who enrolled in the randomized, phase III double-blind Breast International Group (BIG) 1-98 trial between March 1998 and May 2003 and received tamoxifen and/or letrozole treatment. Extracted DNA was used for genotyping nine CYP2D6 single-nucleotide polymorphisms using polymerase chain reaction-based methods. Genotype combinations were used to categorize CYP2D6 metabolism phenotypes as poor, intermediate, and extensive metabolizers (PM, IM, and EM, respectively; n = 4393 patients). Associations of CYP2D6 metabolism phenotypes with breast cancer-free interval (referred to as recurrence) and treatment-induced hot flushes according to randomized endocrine treatment and previous chemotherapy were assessed. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). All statistical tests were two-sided.Results No association between CYP2D6 metabolism phenotypes and breast cancer-free interval was observed among patients who received tamoxifen monotherapy without previous chemotherapy (P =. 35). PM or IM phenotype had a non-statistically significantly reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence compared with EM phenotype (PM or IM vs EM, HR of recurrence = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.60 to 1.24). CYP2D6 metabolism phenotype was associated with tamoxifen-induced hot flushes (P =. 020). Both PM and IM phenotypes had an increased risk of tamoxifen-induced hot flushes compared with EM phenotype (PM vs EM, HR of hot flushes = 1.24, 95% CI = 0.96 to 1.59; IM vs EM, HR of hot flushes = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.05 to 1.43). Conclusions CYP2D6 phenotypes of reduced enzyme activity were not associated with worse disease control but were associated with increased hot flushes, contrary to the hypothesis. The results of this study do not support using the presence or absence of hot flushes or the pharmacogenetic testing of CYP2D6 to determine whether to treat postmenopausal breast cancer patients with tamoxifen. © 2012 The Author.


Ribi K.,Coordinating Center | Aldridge J.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Phillips K.-A.,University of Melbourne | Thompson A.,University of Dundee | And 18 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2012

Background: In the BIG 1-98 trial objective cognitive function improved in postmenopausal women 1 year after cessation of adjuvant endocrine therapy for breast cancer. This report evaluates changes in subjective cognitive function (SCF). Methods: One hundred postmenopausal women, randomised to receive 5 years of adjuvant tamoxifen, letrozole, or a sequence of the two, completed self-reported measures on SCF, psychological distress, fatigue, and quality of life during the fifth year of trial treatment (year 5) and 1 year after treatment completion (year 6). Changes between years 5 and 6 were evaluated using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Subjective cognitive function and its correlates were explored. Results: Subjective cognitive function and the other patient-reported outcomes did not change significantly after cessation of endocrine therapy with the exception of improvement for hot flushes (P=0.0005). No difference in changes was found between women taking tamoxifen or letrozole. Subjective cognitive function was the only psychosocial outcome with a substantial correlation between year 5 and 6 (Spearman's R0.80). Correlations between SCF and the other patient-reported outcomes were generally low. Conclusion: Improved objective cognitive function but not SCF occur following cessation of adjuvant endocrine therapy in the BIG 1-98 trial. The substantial correlation of SCF scores over time may represent a stable attribute. © 2012 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.


Huober J.,Breast Center | Huober J.,Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research SAKK | Gelber S.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Gelber S.,Frontier Science and Technology Research Foundation | And 13 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2012

Background: To evaluate whether medullary breast cancer has a better prognosis compared with invasive ductal tumors. Methods: Among 12 409 patients, 127 were recorded as invasive medullary tumors and 8096 invasive ductal tumors. Medullary and ductal invasive tumors were compared with regard to stage, age at diagnosis, grade, hormone receptor status, peritumoral vascular invasion, and local and systemic treatment. Pattern of relapse, distant recurrence-free interval (DRFI), and overall survival (OS) were determined for both histological groups. Two cohorts were investigated: a full cohort including the pathologist-determined medullary histology without regard to any other tumor features and a cohort restricted to patients with ER-negative grade 3 tumors. Results: Fourteen-year DRFI and OS percents for medullary tumors (n = 127) and invasive ductal tumors (n = 8096) of the full cohort were 76% and 64% [hazard ratio (HR) 0.52, P = 0.0005] and 66% and 57% (HR = 0.75, P = 0.03), respectively. For the restricted cohort, 14-year DRFI and OS percents for the medullary (n = 47) and invasive ductal tumors (n = 1407) were 89% and 63% (HR 0.24, P = 0.002) and 74% and 54% (HR = 0.55, P = 0.01), respectively. Competing risk analysis for DRFI favored medullary tumors (HR medullary/ductal = 0.32; 95% confidence interval = 0.13-0.78, P = 0.01). Conclusion: Medullary tumors have a favorable prognosis compared with invasive ductal tumors. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology.


Karlsson P.,Sahlgrenska University Hospital | Cole B.F.,University of Vermont | Cole B.F.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Chua B.H.,University of Melbourne | And 16 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2012

Background: Rates and risk factors of local, axillary and supraclavicular recurrences can guide patient selection and target for postmastectomy radiotherapy (PMRT). Patients and methods: Local, axillary and supraclavicular recurrences were evaluated in 8106 patients enrolled in 13 randomized trials. Patients received chemotherapy and/or endocrine therapy and mastectomy without radiotherapy. Median follow-up was 15.2 years. Results: Ten-year cumulative incidence for chest wall recurrence of >15% was seen in patients aged <40 years (16.1%), with ≥4 positive nodes (16.5%) or 0-7 uninvolved nodes (15.1%); for supraclavicular failures >10%: ≥4 positive nodes (10.2%); for axillary failures of >5%: aged <40 years (5.1%), unknown primary tumor size (5.2%), 0-7 uninvolved nodes (5.2%). In patients with 1-3 positive nodes, 10-year cumulative incidence for chest wall recurrence of >15% were age <40, peritumoral vessel invasion or 0-7 uninvolved nodes. Age, number of positive nodes and number of uninvolved nodes were significant parameters for each locoregional relapse site. Conclusion: PMRT to the chest wall and supraclavicular fossa is supported in patients with ≥4 positive nodes. With 1-3 positive nodes, chest wall PMRT may be considered in patients aged <40 years, with 0-7 uninvolved nodes or with vascular invasion. The findings do not support PMRT to the dissected axilla. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.


Chirgwin J.,Australian New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group | Chirgwin J.,Monash University | Sun Z.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Smith I.,Royal Marsden Hospital | And 9 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2012

Letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, is ineffective in the presence of ovarian estrogen production. Two subpopulations of apparently postmenopausal women might derive reduced benefit from letrozole due to residual or returning ovarian activity: younger women (who have the potential for residual subclinical ovarian estrogen production), and those with chemotherapy-induced menopause who may experience return of ovarian function. In these situations tamoxifen may be preferable to an aromatase inhibitor. Among 4,922 patients allocated to the monotherapy arms (5 years of letrozole or tamoxifen) in the BIG 1-98 trial we identified two relevant subpopulations: patients with potential residual ovarian function, defined as having natural menopause, treated without adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy and age ≤55 years (n = 641); and those with chemotherapy-induced menopause (n = 105). Neither of the subpopulations examined showed treatment effects differing from the trial population as a whole (interaction P values are 0.23 and 0.62, respectively). Indeed, both among the 641 patients aged ≤55 years with natural menopause and no chemotherapy (HR 0.77 [0.51, 1.16]) and among the 105 patients with chemotherapy-induced menopause (HR 0.51 [0.19, 1.39]), the disease-free survival (DFS) point estimate favoring letrozole was marginally more beneficial than in the trial as a whole (HR 0.84 [0.74, 0.95]). Contrary to our initial concern, DFS results for young postmenopausal patients who did not receive chemotherapy and patients with chemotherapy-induced menopause parallel the letrozole benefit seen in the BIG 1-98 population as a whole. These data support the use of letrozole even in such patients. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Ewertz M.,University of Southern Denmark | Gray K.P.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Regan M.M.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Ejlertsen B.,Copenhagen University | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2012

Purpose: To examine the association of baseline body mass index (BMI) with the risk of recurrence or death in postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer receiving adjuvant tamoxifen or letrozole in the Breast International Group (BIG) 1-98 trial at 8.7 years of median follow-up. Patients and Methods: This report analyzes 4,760 patients with breast cancer randomly assigned to 5 years of monotherapy with letrozole or tamoxifen in the BIG 1-98 trial with available information on BMI at randomization. Multivariable Cox modeling assessed the association of BMI with disease-free survival, overall survival (OS), breast cancer-free interval, and distant recurrence-free interval and tested for treatment-by-BMI interaction. Median follow-up was 8.7 years. Results: Seventeen percent of patients have died. Obese patients (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) had slightly poorer OS (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.19; 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.44) than patients with normal BMI (< 25 kg/m2), whereas no trend in OS was observed in overweight (BMI 25 to < 30 kg/m2) versus normal-weight patients (HR = 1.02; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.20). Treatment-by-BMI interactions were not statistically significant. The HRs for OS comparing obese versus normal BMI were HR = 1.22 (95% CI, 0.93 to 1.60) and HR = 1.18 (95% CI, 0.91 to 1.52) in the letrozole and tamoxifen groups, respectively. Conclusion: There was no evidence that the benefit of letrozole over tamoxifen differed according to patients' BMI. © 2012 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

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