Purpose: Prior neoadjuvant trials with 12 weeks of dual antiHER2 therapy without chemotherapy demonstrated a meaningful pathologic complete response (pCR) in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. In this trial, we sought to determine whether longer treatment would increase the rate of pCR. Patients and Methods: TBCRC023 (NCT00999804) is a randomized phase II trial combining a Simon phase II design in the experimental arm with a pick-the-winner design, not powered for direct comparison. Women with HER2-positive breast tumors measuring ≥2 cm (median = 5 cm) were randomized in a 1:2 ratio to 12 versus 24 weeks of lapatinib and trastuzumab. Letrozole (along with ovarian suppression if premenopausal) was administered in patients whose tumors were also estrogen receptor (ER) positive. All evaluable patients were assessed for in-breast pCR. Results: Ninety-seven patients were enrolled (33 in 12-week arm and 64 in 24-week arm), of whom 94 were evaluable. Median age was 51 years, and 55% were postmenopausal. Median tumor size was 5 cm, and 65% were ER-positive. The rate of pCR in the 24-week arm was 28% and numerically superior to the 12-week arm (12%). This was driven by increased pCR in the ER-positive subgroup (33% vs. 9%). Study treatment was well tolerated, with grade 1–2 diarrhea and acneiform rash being the most common toxicities. Conclusions: Treatment with dual anti-HER2 therapy for 24 weeks led to a numeric increase in pCR rate in women with HER2-positive breast cancer, without using chemotherapy. If validated, this approach may help identify patients who may benefit from deescalation of therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research