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HER2 status as predictive marker for aromatase inhibitor versus tamoxifen use in early breast cancer

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Published: 17.12.15
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Dr John Bartlett - Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, Canada

Dr Bartlett talks to ecancertv at SABCS 2015 about using HER2 status as a predictive marker for benefiting from treatment with an aromatase inhibitor (AI) versus tamoxifen based on data from a meta-analysis of more than 12,000 patients who participated in three landmark AI trials:  ATAC (Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination), BIG (Breast International Group) 1-98 and the TEAM (Tamoxifen Exemestane Adjuvant Multinational) studies.

HER2 has been long proposed as a marker of endocrine resistance and data from the three landmark AI trials have suggested it might have a potential role in deciding if patients should be treated ‘upfront’ with an AI rather than tamoxifen. Alone, data from the trials were insufficient to determine if this was the case so a meta-analysis was performed.

While improved outcomes were seen in women with HER2-negative tumours if they were treated with AIs rather than tamoxifen, the situation was less clear for women with HER2-positive tumours. The latter fared no better, or slightly worse, during AI treatment than those who received tamoxifen.

Dr Bartlett explains what these findings might mean for clinical practice.

ecancer's filming at SABCS 2015 has been kindly supported by Novartis through the ECMS Foundation. ecancer is editorially independent and there is no influence over content.

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