Author(s): Bartsch R, Wenzel C, Altorjai G, Pluschnig U, Rudas M
PURPOSE: In human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER-2)-positive advanced breast cancer, taxanes or vinorelbine plus trastuzumab are among the most widely applied options in the first-line setting. We evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of capecitabine plus trastuzumab after anthracycline and docetaxel or vinorelbine failure and prior trastuzumab exposure.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty consecutive patients were included. Capecitabine was administered at a dose of 1,250 mg/m(2) bid for 14 consecutive days in 3-week cycles, with dose modifications if necessary. Trastuzumab was administered every 3 weeks. Time to progression (TTP) was defined as primary end point. Response was evaluated every 3 months using International Union Against Cancer criteria.
RESULTS: TTP was a median of 8 months, and overall survival was 24 months. No significant difference was found for second-line and beyond second-line treatment. A complete response (CR) was observed in 2.5%, partial response (PR) in 17.5%, stable disease lasting at least 6 months (SD) in 50%, resulting in a clinical benefit rate (CR + PR + SD > or = 6 months) of 70%. Diarrhea (5%) and hand-foot syndrome (15%) were the only treatment-related adverse events that occurred with grade 3 or 4 intensity. Three patients (7.5%) developed brain metastases while receiving therapy.
CONCLUSION: Capecitabine plus trastuzumab appears to be an effective and safe option in a heavily pretreated population. Therefore, a direct comparison of this regimen with capecitabine monotherapy in this setting is warranted.