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J Clin Oncol. 2010 Feb 20;28(6):976-83. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2008.21.6531. Epub 2009 Dec 28.

Randomized phase II trial of first-line trastuzumab plus docetaxel and capecitabine compared with trastuzumab plus docetaxel in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.

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  • 1Cancer Research UK Department of Medical Oncology, The Christie, 550 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester, M20 4BX, United Kingdom.


PURPOSE To evaluate trastuzumab (H) and docetaxel (T) with or without capecitabine (X) as first-line combination therapy for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) -positive advanced breast cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS Patients with HER2-positive locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer were randomly assigned to H (8 mg/kg loading; 6 mg/kg every 3 weeks) plus T (75 mg/m(2) in HTX arm, 100 mg/m(2) in HT arm, every 3 weeks) with or without X (950 mg/m(2) twice per day on days 1 to 14 every 3 weeks). The primary end point was overall response rate (ORR). Results In 222 patients, median follow-up was approximately 24 months. ORR was high with both regimens (70.5% with HTX; 72.7% with HT; P = .717); complete response rate was 23.2% with HTX compared with 16.4% with HT. HTX demonstrated significantly longer progression-free survival: median 17.9 months compared with 12.8 months with HT (hazard ratio, 0.72; P = .045), which translates to a gain of around 5 months. Two-year survival probability was 75% with HTX compared with 66% with HT. Febrile neutropenia (27% v 15%) and grade 3/4 neutropenia (77% v 54%) incidences were higher with HT than HTX. Treatment-related grade 3 hand-foot syndrome (17% v < 1%) and grade 3/4 diarrhea (11% v 4%) occurred more commonly with HTX than HT. One case of congestive heart failure occurred in each arm. CONCLUSION HTX is an effective and feasible first-line therapy for HER2-positive locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer, although it should be reserved for patients with good performance status who are not receiving long-term steroids.

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