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J Clin Oncol. 2007 Jun 1;25(16):2218-24.

Trastuzumab, paclitaxel, carboplatin, and gemcitabine in advanced human epidermal growth factor receptor-2/neu-positive urothelial carcinoma: results of a multicenter phase II National Cancer Institute trial.

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  • 1University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.

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  • J Clin Oncol. 2008 Jul 1;26(19): 3295.



We investigated the safety and efficacy (response rates, time to disease progression, survival) of trastuzumab, carboplatin, gemcitabine, and paclitaxel in advanced urothelial carcinoma patients and prospectively evaluated human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (Her-2/neu) overexpression rates.


Advanced urothelial carcinoma patients were screened for Her-2/neu overexpression. Eligibility for therapy required human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (Her-2/neu) overexpression by immunohistochemistry (IHC), gene amplification and/or elevated serum Her-2/neu, no prior chemotherapy for metastasis, and adequate organ function including a normal cardiac function. Treatment consisted of trastuzumab (T) 4 mg/kg loading dose followed by 2 mg/kg on days 1, 8, and 15; paclitaxel (P) 200 mg/m2 on day 1; carboplatin (C; area under the curve, 5) on day 1; and gemcitabine (G) 800 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8. The primary end point was cardiac toxicity.


Fifty-seven (52.3%) of 109 registered patients were Her-2/neu positive, and 48.6% were positive by IHC. Her-2/neu-positive patients had more metastatic sites and visceral metastasis than did Her-2/neu negative patients. Forty-four of 57 Her-2/neu-positive patients were treated with TPCG. The median number of cycles was six (range, 1 to 12 cycles). The most common grade 3/4 toxicity was myelosuppression. Grade 3 sensory neuropathy occurred in 14% of patients, and 22.7% experienced grade 1 to 3 cardiac toxicity (grade 3, n = 2: one left ventricular dysfunction, one tachycardia). There were three [corrected] therapy-related deaths. Thirty-one (70%) of 44 patients responded (five complete and 26 partial), and 25 (57%) of 44 were confirmed responses. Median time to progression and survival were 9.3 and 14.1 months, respectively.


We prospectively characterized Her-2/neu status in advanced urothelial carcinoma patients. TPCG is feasible; cardiac toxicity rates were higher than projected, but the majority were grade two or lower. Determining the true contribution of trastuzumab requires a randomized trial.

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