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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Oct;135(3):875-83. doi: 10.1007/s10549-012-2209-z. Epub 2012 Aug 26.

Treatment patterns and clinical outcomes in elderly patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer from the registHER observational study.

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Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.


Limited data exist regarding treatment patterns and outcomes in elderly patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC). registHER is an observational study of patients (N = 1,001) with HER2-positive MBC diagnosed within 6 months of enrollment and followed until death, disenrollment, or June 2009 (median follow-up 27 months). Outcomes were analyzed by age at MBC diagnosis: younger (<65 years), older (65-74 years), elderly (≥75 years). For progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) analyses of first-line trastuzumab versus nontrastuzumab, older and elderly patients were combined. Cox regression analyses were adjusted for baseline characteristics and treatments. Estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor status was similar across age groups. Underlying cardiovascular disease was most common in elderly patients. In patients receiving trastuzumab-based first-line treatment, elderly patients were less likely to receive chemotherapy. In trastuzumab-treated patients, incidence of left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) (grades ≥ 3) were highest in elderly patients (LVD: elderly 4.8 %, younger 2.8 %, older 1.5 %; CHF: elderly 3.2 %, younger 1.9 %, older 1.5 %). Unadjusted median PFS (months) was significantly higher in patients treated with first-line trastuzumab than those who were not (<65 years: 11.0 vs. 3.4, respectively; ≥65 years: 11.7 vs. 4.8, respectively). In patients <65 years, unadjusted median OS (months) was significantly higher in trastuzumab-treated patients; in patients ≥65 years, median OS was similar (<65 years: 40.4 vs. 25.9; ≥65 years: 31.2 vs. 28.5). In multivariate analyses, first-line trastuzumab use was associated with significant improvement in PFS across age. For OS, significant improvement was observed for patients <65 years and nonsignificant improvement for patients ≥65 years. Elderly patients with HER2-positive MBC had higher rates of underlying cardiovascular disease than their younger counterparts and received less aggressive treatment, including less first-line trastuzumab. These real-world data suggest improved PFS across all age groups and similar trends for OS.

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