Aims: Trastuzumab, in combination with chemotherapy, is the standard of care for patients with early and metastatic human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer. The Retreatment after HErceptin Adjuvant trial assessed the efficacy and safety of trastuzumab plus a taxane as first-line treatment for patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) who had relapsed after adjuvant trastuzumab for HER2-positive early breast cancer. Materials and methods: In total, 43 patients with HER2-positive MBC who had received previous adjuvant trastuzumab for ≥10 months, with a relapse-free interval of ≥6 months after the last adjuvant trastuzumab dose, were recruited. Eligible patients (n=41) were assigned to receive trastuzumab, either weekly or every 3 weeks, in combination with docetaxel or paclitaxel until disease progression. Results: At the final analysis, with a median follow-up time of 40 months, a positive response was observed in 25/41 patients (61%; 95% confidence interval: 48.7-80.4%), stable disease in 7/41 (17.1%) and progressive disease in 6/41 (14.6%). Three patients had missing response assessments (one had no measurable lesions at baseline and two had no post-baseline tumour assessments). The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 8.0 months (95% confidence interval: 6-11 months) and the median overall survival was 25.0 months (16-33 months). No correlation was found between response rate, PFS or overall survival and the duration of adjuvant trastuzumab treatment, trastuzumab-free interval, relapse-free interval, hormone receptor status or type of pre-metastatic treatment. The most common adverse events (all grades) were alopecia (32%) and diarrhoea (32%). Six patients (14.6%) developed at least one serious adverse event. No congestive heart failure or any unexpected adverse events were reported. Conclusion: Trastuzumab, in combination with a taxane, is an effective and well-tolerated first-line treatment for MBC in patients who relapse after trastuzumab-based adjuvant therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging