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Posted by on Aug 5, 2017 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study aimed to investigate zoledronic acid in combination with chemotherapy as a treatment for HER2-negative breast cancer.

This study concluded that the addition of zoledronic acid to chemotherapy has potential benefits for certain breast cancer patients.

Some background

HER2-negative breast cancer (BC) differs from HER2-positive BC in that there are no HER2 receptors on the surface of the cancer cells. HER2 receptors encourage the growth of cancer. The HER2 status of a patient determines the treatments they can be given.

Neoadjuvant treatments are given before the main treatment (often surgery). Neoadjuvant treatments work to reduce the size of the tumour before it is removed. Zoledronic acid (ZOL, Reclast) provides benefit to patients whose cancer has spread to the bones. It works to prevent skeletal problems.

It was unknown if ZOL would be effective in killing cancer cells when combined with chemotherapy. 

Methods & findings

This study involved 188 patients who had HER2 negative BC. 95 of these received chemotherapy alone (CT group) and 93 received chemotherapy with ZOL (CTZ group). The chemotherapy regime involved four cycles of fluorouracil (5-FU, or Adrucil), epirubicin (Ellence) and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan). It also involved an additional twelve cycles of paclitaxel (Taxol).

The pathological complete response (pCR) rate was assessed in all patients. The pCR is defined as no invasive cancer seen in a sample of breast tissue taken from patients.

The pCR rate for the CTZ group was 14.8% compared to 7.7% for the CT group.

In postmenopausal patients, the rate of pCR was 18.4% for the CTZ group compared to 5.1% for the CT group.

In triple-negative BC patients (cancer not dependent on HER2 or hormones for growth), the CTZ group had a pCR rate of 35.3% compared to 11.8% for those in the CT group. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that the addition of ZOL to neoadjuvant chemotherapy may have anticancer benefits in postmenopausal patients and patients with triple-negative BC. 

The fine print

All participants were Asian and therefore results may not accurately reflect the world population. Further work is needed to confirm the findings.  

What’s next?

Consult your physician about the chemotherapy options available to you. 

Published By :


Date :

Dec 03, 2015

Original Title :

Randomized Controlled Trial of Zoledronic Acid plus Chemotherapy versus Chemotherapy Alone as Neoadjuvant Treatment of HER2-Negative Primary Breast Cancer (JONIE Study).

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