Neoadjuvant lapatinib with trastuzumab for HER2-positive breast cancer

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Published: 6 Oct 2020
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Dr Paolo Nuciforo - Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain

Dr Paolo Nuciforo speaks to ecancer about the randomised phase III clinical trial that analysed the nine-year survival outcome of neoadjuvant lapatinib with trastuzumab for HER2-positive breast cancer (NeoALTTO, BIG 1-06), the results of which were presented at EBCC-12.

He first speaks of the aims and objectives of this trial and tells us about how the end-points were measured.

He then sheds some light on the key outcomes observed in this trial with regards to using lapatinib and trastuzumab against HER-2 positive breast cancer.

Dr Nuciforo explains how although overall survival was increased with the combination of the two drugs as compared to single agent treatment, it could not reach statistical significance.

This was possibly due to the fact that the study was not powered to detect small differences in survival between the three groups.  

When the researchers compared women who had achieved pathologic complete response (pCR) with those that had not independently of the treatment received, they found that event-free survival and overall survival were significantly better in women who had pCR compared to non-pCR patients.

After highlighting what the implications of the results from this trial can be, Dr Nuciforo sums it up by remarking how further research in terms of biomarkers will be required for improving the treatment of HER-2 positive breast cancer.