Docetaxel in the adjuvant therapy of HER-2 positive breast cancer patients

P. Vici, G. Viola, C. Botti, S. Rossi, C. Vitucci, S. Corsetti, L. Di Lauro, D. Sergi, P. Foggi, P. Perri, C. Tirelli, M. Mottolese, S. I S Fattoruso, M. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Considering the clinical benefit of trastuzumab in advanced breast cancer, five prospective adjuvant randomized trials have recently been completed and early results have been published. Two of them, (NSABP-B31 and NCCTG N9831), employed anthracy- cline-containing regimens with sequential paclitaxel, with or without trastuzumab. The third study, HERA trial, randomized patients after adjuvant chemotherapy into an observational arm, one or two years of trastuzumab. Results of these studies, after a median follow up of 2-3 years confirm a DFS and OS benefit for the experimental arms. The worst rate of cardiotoxicity, in terms of incidence of CHF, with the use of trastuzumab and anthracycline based regimens was 4.1% in the trastuzumab arm of the NSABP-B31 trial. Among the five trastuzumab trials, two, BCIRG 006 and FinHer, employed docetaxel-based regimens. The innovative BCIRG 006 trial compared AC→docetaxel (T) with two trastuzumab-containing regimens, AC→TH, and a non-anthracycline-containing regimens, TCH, with a clear advantage in DFS for both trastuzumab arms. Data from the second interim analysis indicate that, in the subgroup of patients without co-amplification of topoisomerase 2 (TOPO-2), the arm without trastuzumab (AC→T) showed a DFS significantly poorer that in the other arms; moreover, if we consider the lower toxicity of TCH regimen in comparison with anthracycline-containing arms, the innovative statements offered by BCIRG 006 trial appear evident, and these findings opened an important question about the consolidated employment of anthracyclines in adjuvant setting. The FinHer trial was a small trial testing a short course of trastuzumab (9 weeks) concomitantly with a chemotherapy including docetaxel, and there was a significant advantage in DFS for the trastuzumab based arms, without relevant toxicity and without any cardiotoxicity. Although data from all trastuzumab adjuvant trials, and without particulary from BCIRG-006 and FinHer trials, appear very intriguing, further follow-up is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-452
Number of pages4
JournalClinica Terapeutica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • Breast cancer
  • Docetaxel
  • HER2 positive
  • Taxanes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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