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Ann Oncol. 2008 Jul;19(7):1242-8. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdn036. Epub 2008 Mar 11.

Defining prognosis for women with breast cancer and CNS metastases by HER2 status.

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  • 1Department of Breast Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. shaheenah_d@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine, in a cohort of patients with breast cancer and central nervous system (CNS) metastases, the effect of trastuzumab in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive disease and to compare this with that of patients with HER2-negative disease.

METHODS:

Five hundred and ninety-eight patients with invasive breast cancer, CNS metastases and known HER2 status were identified. Time to CNS metastases and survival after CNS metastases were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox models were fitted to determine the association between HER2 status, trastuzumab treatment and outcomes after adjustment for other patient characteristics.

RESULTS:

In the multivariable model, patients with HER2-negative disease [Hazard ratio (HR) 1.50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15-1.95, P = 0.003] and patients with HER2-positive disease who did not receive trastuzumab (HR 2.13, 95% CI 1.51-3.00, P < 0.0001) had shorter times to CNS metastases compared with patients with HER2-positive disease who had received trastuzumab as first-line therapy for metastases. Furthermore, patients with HER2-negative disease (HR 1.66, 95% CI 1.31-2.12, P < 0.0001) and patients with HER2-positive disease who had never received trastuzumab (HR 1.34, 95% CI 0.78-2.30, P = 0.28) had an increased hazard of death compared with patients with HER2-positive disease who had received trastuzumab before or at the time of CNS metastases diagnosis.

CONCLUSION:

In our cohort of patients with breast cancer and CNS metastases, patients with HER2-positive disease treated with trastuzumab had longer times to development of and better survival from CNS metastases compared with patients with HER2-positive disease who had never received trastuzumab and patients with HER2-negative breast cancer.

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