Adjuvant treatment in hormone-receptor positive, HER2-negative early breast cancer is controversial. Chemotherapy benefit in this subset of patients is generally small, and a wide variability exists among different subgroups of patients, depending on various patient and tumor characteristics. To select subsets of patients who will really benefit from chemotherapy, one of the possible strategy is based on multigene expression analysis. This approach is providing deeper insights into the biological heterogeneity of breast cancer, allowing to further subdivide hormone-receptor positive tumors into groups, with different clinical behavior and response to treatments. Among less expensive and better validated methods, high levels of Ki67, a routinely assessed immunohistochemical marker of cell proliferation, can suggest the use of chemotherapy in this subset of patients. Generally, regimen used should include a taxane. In fact, retrospective analyses of clinical trials suggest that anthracyclines may be less active in hormone-receptor positive HER2-negative patients, while several other trials and meta-analyses involving taxanes, showed a benefit in terms of risk of relapse and death reduction. Among taxanes, docetaxel should be preferred because of a better therapeutic index, and a higher activity in comparison to paclitaxel. At present, reliable and accurate evaluation of histopathological and immunohistochemical factors may allow the choice of omitting adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with low risk hormone receptor positive HER2-negative breast cancer. Uncertainty still exists about chemotherapy benefit for a substantial proportion of women of this subgroup. Nevertheless, the addition of taxanes, mainly docetaxel, to anthracyclines, seems to overcome the relative chemoresistance of hormone-receptor positive tumors, providing a benefit in disease free survival and overall survival.
|Translated title of the contribution||Adjuvant chemotherapy in hormone-receptor positive HER2-negative early breast cancer|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2009|
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