In ERBB2 (formerly HER2)-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC), combining trastuzumab and pertuzumab with taxane-based chemotherapy is the first line of standard care. Given that trastuzumab plus pertuzumab was proven effective in ERBB2-positive MBC, even without chemotherapy, whether the optimal first-line strategy could be trastuzumab plus pertuzumab alone instead of with chemotherapy is unresolved.
To assess overall survival (OS) at 2 years and progression-free survival (PFS) for patients randomly assigned to receive first-line pertuzumab plus trastuzumab alone or with chemotherapy followed by trastuzumab and emtansine at progression; PFS of second-line trastuzumab and emtansine treatment following trastuzumab plus pertuzumab; and OS and PFS in the ERBB2-enriched and ERBB2-nonenriched subtypes.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
This was a secondary analysis of a multicenter, open-label, phase 2 randomized clinical trial conducted at 27 sites in France, 20 sites in Switzerland, 9 sites in the Netherlands, and 1 site in Germany. Overall, 210 patients with centrally confirmed ERBB2-positive MBC were randomized between May 3, 2013, and January 4, 2016, with termination of the trial May 26, 2020. Data were analyzed from December 18, 2020, to May 10, 2022.
Patients randomly received pertuzumab (840 mg intravenously [IV], then 420 mg IV every 3 weeks) plus trastuzumab (8 mg/kg IV, then 6 mg/kg IV every 3 weeks) without chemotherapy (group A) or pertuzumab plus trastuzumab (same doses) with either paclitaxel (90 mg/m2 for days 1, 8, and 15, then every 4 weeks for ≥4 months) or vinorelbine tartrate (25 mg/m2 for first administration followed by 30 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 and every 3 weeks for ≥4 months) followed by pertuzumab plus trastuzumab maintenance after chemotherapy discontinuation (group B).
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
Overall survival at 24 months by treatment group, PFS for first-line treatment, PFS for second-line treatment, and patient-reported quality of life (QOL).
A total of 210 patients were included in the analysis, with a median age of 58 (range, 26-85) years. For group A, 24-month OS was 79.0% (90% CI, 71.4%-85.4%); for group B, 78.1% (90% CI, 70.4%-84.5%). Median PFS with first-line treatment was 8.4 (95% CI, 7.9-12.0) months in group A and 23.3 (95% CI, 18.9-33.1) months in group B. Unlike expectations, OS and PFS did not markedly differ between populations with ERBB2-enriched and ERBB2-nonenriched cancer. Adverse events were less common without chemotherapy, with small QOL improvements from baseline in group A and stable QOL in group B.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
The findings of this secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial suggest that the chemotherapy-free anti-ERBB2 strategy is feasible without being detrimental in terms of OS. The 50-gene prediction analysis of microarray signature could not help to identify the most appropriate patient population for this approach.