In a nutshell
This study aimed to compare the outcomes for patients with early breast cancer who received 6- or 12-months trastuzumab after surgery.
This study concluded that the standard duration of trastuzumab after surgery should remain 12 months.
Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is a targeted therapy used to treat breast cancer (BC). It can be used as an adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy. Adjuvant treatment is given in addition to the main treatment, such as surgery. It aims to maximize the effectiveness of the main treatment and to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. The duration of adjuvant trastuzumab treatment has been debated. Many studies have shown that 12 months of trastuzumab reduces the risk of relapse. Since it has many side effects, other studies have tried to show if a shorter duration of trastuzumab treatment was also beneficial.
It was unknown if 6 months of adjuvant trastuzumab was similar to 12 months in patients with early BC.
Methods & findings
This study involved 3380 patients with HER2-positive early BC. 1690 patients received 6 months of adjuvant trastuzumab treatment. 1690 patients received 12 months of adjuvant trastuzumab treatment. This treatment was given with or following standard chemotherapy. Patients were followed for an average of 7.5 years.
After 7.5 years, 20.4% of the 12-month group experienced events relevant to disease-free survival. This was compared to 21.2% of the 6-month group. Relapse far from the breast occurred in 9.6% of the 12-month group compared to 11.1% in the 6-month group. Survival at 7 years was estimated to be 82.3% in the 12-month group compared to 80.6% in the 6-month group.
Few side effects occurred after finishing trastuzumab treatment.
The bottom line
This study concluded that the standard adjuvant trastuzumab treatment should remain at 12 months.
Published By :
Lancet (London, England)
Jun 06, 2019
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