In a nutshell
This study examined the effects of neratinib (Nerlynx) in women with early-stage breast cancer. This study found that treatment with neratinib decreased the quality of life of these patients during the first month of treatment due to side effects.
Between 15 and 20% of patients diagnosed with breast cancer have tumors that are positive for human epidermal receptor growth factor 2 (HER2+). This means that the cancer cells can be targeted with specific treatments. One treatment under investigation for patients with early-stage breast cancer that is HER2+ is neratinib.
Sometimes the side effects of anti-cancer therapies can decrease the quality of life for patients. Neratinib is a new anti-cancer drug that targets HER2+ cancer cells. The impact of long-term treatment with neratinib on the quality of life of patients with early-stage breast cancer remains unclear.
Methods & findings
The study included 2840 patients. Data was only available for 2407 patients. Patients had early-stage breast cancer that was HER2+. 1171 patients received neratinib for 12 months.1236 patients were given a placebo. Surveys were given to all patients at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of treatment to measure their quality of life.
After 1 month of treatment, patients treated with neratinib reported a significantly lower quality of life compared to patients in the placebo group (2.9 fewer points). The authors suggest that this decrease may be due to side effects, namely diarrhea.
After 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of treatment, there was little difference in the quality of life for patients treated with neratinib compared to the placebo group.
The bottom line
The study concluded that neratinib decreased the quality of life of patients with early-stage breast cancer after 1 month of treatment. Quality of life increased after 1 month. The authors suggest that side effects became manageable.
The fine print
This is a large study. The role of neratinib in the treatment of patients with early-stage breast cancer remains under investigation.
Published By :
Annals of oncology: official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology
Jan 23, 2019
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