In a nutshell
This study evaluated whether adding carboplatin (Paraplatin) to chemotherapy improved survival for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). This study found that this treatment combination improved long-term survival without tumor growth or spread in these patients.
TNBC is a type of breast cancer that does not have receptors for certain hormones called estrogen, progesterone, or HER2. These receptors are not on the surface of these cancer cells. Because of this, it can be slightly harder to treat. For patients who do not respond to hormone therapy, chemotherapy is usually the next step. Anthracyclines like doxorubicin (Myocet) and taxanes like paclitaxel (Abraxane) are two examples.
Carboplatin is a chemotherapy drug that is used to treat many other types of cancer. Previous studies have shown that combining carboplatin with other chemotherapy drugs can help patients respond better to treatment. Whether combining carboplatin with anthracyclines and taxanes improves outcomes for patients with TNBC is under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study had 588 patients. 273 patients had HER2 positive cancer. 315 patients had TNBC. All patients were treated with doxorubicin and paclitaxel. Patients also received either carboplatin or no further treatment. Patients were followed-up for an average of 47.3 months.
At follow-up, more patients with TNBC treated with carboplatin were still alive 3 years later compared to patients who did not receive carboplatin (91.9% vs. 86.0%).
At follow-up, significantly more patients with TNBC treated with carboplatin were still alive 3 years later without cancer compared to patients who did not receive carboplatin (86.1% vs. 75.8%). Overall, carboplatin treatment was significantly associated with a 54.4% decrease in mortality risk.
For patients with HER2 positive disease, there was no difference in survival outcomes between patients who received carboplatin versus patients who did not.
The bottom line
The study concluded that patients with TNBC who were treated with carboplatin plus chemotherapy had better outcomes than patients who did not receive carboplatin.
The fine print
This was a medium-sized study. More studies are needed to confirm these results.
Talk to your oncologist about your treatment plan.
Published By :
Annals of oncology: official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology
Oct 18, 2018
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