MRI-guided optimisation of neoadjuvant chemotherapy duration in stage II-III HER2-positive breast cancer (TRAIN-3): a multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 study.

Abstract

FINDINGS

Between April 1, 2019, and May 12, 2021, 235 patients with hormone receptor-negative cancer and 232 with hormone receptor-positive cancer were enrolled. Median follow-up was 26·4 months (IQR 22·9-32·9) for patients who were hormone receptor-negative and 31·6 months (25·6-35·7) for patients who were hormone receptor-positive. Overall, the median age was 51 years (IQR 43-59). In 233 patients with hormone receptor-negative tumours, radiological complete response was seen in 84 (36%; 95% CI 30-43) patients after one to three cycles, 140 (60%; 53-66) patients after one to six cycles, and 169 (73%; 66-78) patients after one to nine cycles. In 232 patients with hormone receptor-positive tumours, radiological complete response was seen in 68 (29%; 24-36) patients after one to three cycles, 118 (51%; 44-57) patients after one to six cycles, and 138 (59%; 53-66) patients after one to nine cycles. Among patients with a radiological complete response after one to nine cycles, a pathological complete response was seen in 147 (87%; 95% CI 81-92) of 169 patients with hormone receptor-negative tumours and was seen in 73 (53%; 44-61) of 138 patients with hormone receptor-positive tumours. The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia (175 [37%] of 467), anaemia (75 [16%]), and diarrhoea (57 [12%]). No treatment-related deaths were reported.

INTERPRETATION

In our study, a third of patients with stage II-III hormone receptor-negative and HER2-positive breast cancer had a complete pathological response after only three cycles of neoadjuvant systemic therapy. A complete response on breast MRI could help identify early complete responders in patients who had hormone receptor negative tumours. An imaging-based strategy might limit the duration of chemotherapy in these patients, reduce side-effects, and maintain quality of life if confirmed by the analysis of the 3-year event-free survival primary endpoint. Better monitoring tools are needed for patients with hormone receptor-positive and HER2-positive breast cancer.

FUNDING

Roche Netherlands.

METHODS

TRAIN-3 is a single-arm, phase 2 study in 43 hospitals in the Netherlands. Patients with stage II-III HER2-positive breast cancer aged 18 years or older and a WHO performance status of 0 or 1 were enrolled. Patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy consisting of paclitaxel (80 mg/m2 of body surface area on day 1 and 8 of each 21 day cycle), trastuzumab (loading dose on day 1 of cycle 1 of 8 mg/kg bodyweight, and then 6 mg/kg on day 1 on all subsequent cycles), and carboplatin (area under the concentration time curve 6 mg/mL per min on day 1 of each 3 week cycle) and pertuzumab (loading dose on day 1 of cycle 1 of 840 mg, and then 420 mg on day 1 of each subsequent cycle), all given intravenously. The response was monitored by breast MRI every three cycles and lymph node biopsy. Patients underwent surgery when a complete radiological response was observed or after a maximum of nine cycles of treatment. The primary endpoint was event-free survival at 3 years; however, follow-up for the primary endpoint is ongoing. Here, we present the radiological and pathological response rates (secondary endpoints) of all patients who underwent surgery and the toxicity data for all patients who received at least one cycle of treatment. Analyses were done in hormone receptor-positive and hormone receptor-negative patients separately. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT03820063, recruitment is closed, and the follow-up for the primary endpoint is ongoing.

BACKGROUND

Patients with stage II-III HER2-positive breast cancer have good outcomes with the combination of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and HER2-targeted agents. Although increasing the number of chemotherapy cycles improves pathological complete response rates, early complete responses are common. We investigated whether the duration of chemotherapy could be tailored on the basis of radiological response.

More about this publication

The Lancet. Oncology
  • Volume 25
  • Issue nr. 5
  • Pages 603-613
  • Publication date 01-05-2024

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