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J Clin Oncol. 2011 Feb 1;29(4):398-405. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2010.29.5865. Epub 2010 Dec 20.

Phase II study of the antibody drug conjugate trastuzumab-DM1 for the treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer after prior HER2-directed therapy.

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  • 1Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville, TN 37203-1632, USA.



The antibody-drug conjugate trastuzumab-DM1 (T-DM1) combines the biologic activity of trastuzumab with targeted delivery of a potent antimicrotubule agent, DM1, to human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-overexpressing cancer cells. Based on results from a phase I study that showed T-DM1 was well tolerated at the maximum-tolerated dose of 3.6 mg/kg every 3 weeks, with evidence of efficacy, in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) who were previously treated with trastuzumab, we conducted a phase II study to further define the safety and efficacy of T-DM1 in this patient population.


This report describes a single-arm phase II study (TDM4258g) that assessed efficacy and safety of intravenous T-DM1 (3.6 mg/kg every 3 weeks) in patients with HER2-positive MBC who had tumor progression after prior treatment with HER2-directed therapy and who had received prior chemotherapy.


With a follow-up of ≥ 12 months among 112 treated patients, the objective response rate by independent assessment was 25.9% (95% CI, 18.4% to 34.4%). Median duration of response was not reached as a result of insufficient events (lower limit of 95% CI, 6.2 months), and median progression-free survival time was 4.6 months (95% CI, 3.9 to 8.6 months). The response rates were higher among patients with confirmed HER2-positive tumors (immunohistochemistry 3+ or fluorescent in situ hybridization positive) by retrospective central testing (n = 74). Higher response rates were also observed in patients whose tumors expressed ≥ median HER2 levels by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for HER2 expression, compared with patients who had less than median HER2 levels. T-DM1 was well tolerated with no dose-limiting cardiotoxicity. Most adverse events (AEs) were grade 1 or 2; the most frequent grade ≥ 3 AEs were hypokalemia (8.9%), thrombocytopenia (8.0%), and fatigue (4.5%).


T-DM1 has robust single-agent activity in patients with heavily pretreated, HER2-positive MBC and is well tolerated at the recommended phase II dose.

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