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Keywords:

  • trastuzumab;
  • breast cancer;
  • locoregional;
  • recurrence;
  • breast conservation

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer have a higher risk of locoregional recurrence (LRR), even in the setting of early stage, lymph node-negative disease. In this sequential, retrospective study, the authors evaluated whether adjuvant trastuzumab was associated with reduced LRR in women with lymph node-negative, HER2-positive disease who received breast-conservation therapy (BCT).

METHODS:

By using an institutional database, 197 women were identified who had lymph node-negative, HER2-positive breast cancer measuring ≤5 cm diagnosed between 2002 and 2008 and who received BCT, including whole-breast irradiation. Two cohorts were compared: 70 women who did not receive trastuzumab (the no-trastuzumab cohort) and 102 women who did receive trastuzumab (the trastuzumab cohort). Kaplan-Meier methods were used to estimate LRR-free survival.

RESULTS:

The 2 cohorts were similar in age, tumor size, histology, and hormone receptor status. Chemotherapy was received by 73% of the no-trastuzumab cohort and by 100% of the trastuzumab cohort. In both groups, 99% of patients completed radiotherapy with a median dose of 60 Gray. The median recurrence-free follow-up was 86 months for the no-trastuzumab cohort and 47 months for the trastuzumab cohort. The 3-year LRR-free survival rate was 90% (95% confidence interval, 83%-97%) for the no-trastuzumab cohort and 99% (95% confidence interval, 97%-100%) for the trastuzumab cohort. In the no-trastuzumab cohort, LRR occurred in 7 patients (median time to LRR, 14 months). In the trastuzumab cohort, there was 1 LRR at 14 months.

CONCLUSIONS:

Even among women with lower risk breast cancer, the relatively high locoregional failure rates associated with positive HER2 status could be reduced markedly with adjuvant trastuzumab chemotherapy. Within 3 years, a 10% LRR rate without trastuzumab and a 1% LRR rate with trastuzumab were observed in women with lymph node-negative disease who received BCT. Cancer 2012. © 2011 American Cancer Society.