Efficacy of trastuzumab in unselected patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer: A retrospective analysis

Elena Collovà, Antonella Ferzi, Giuseppa Scandurra, Gaetano Aurilio, Valter Torri, Luca Porcu, Maria Vita Sanò, Eleonora Taibi, Jennifer Foglietta, Daniele Generali, Daniele Andreis, Maria Chiara Dazzani, Annalisa Bramati, Ilaria Marcon, Francesco Atzori, Saverio Cinieri, Luca Tondulli, Donatella Grasso, Franco Nolè, Maria Cristina PetrellaStefania Gori, Nicla La Verde

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Aims and background: The addition of trastuzumab to chemotherapy for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer has significantly improved progression-free survival and overall survival, although most patients develop resistance or have a primarily resistant disease. The aim of the study was to describe the efficacy and safety of a firstline treatment in unselected metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer patients, treated according to clinical practice.

Methods: From 2000 to 2009, we conducted a retrospective multi-institutional analysis of 182 consecutive patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer who underwent first-line treatment with trastuzumab. The primary end points were progressionfree survival and overall survival; the secondary end points were survival after progression in patients treated with second-line chemotherapy with or without trastuzumab and safety. A total of 172 patients were analyzed.

Results: Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 1.2 (95% CI, 1.1-1.4) and 4.4 years (95% CI, 3.6-5.4), respectively. For 100 patients who received secondline chemotherapy, median survival after progression was significantly longer in those who also received trastuzumab: 2.8 (95% CI, 2.1-4.0) versus 1.2 years (95% CI, 0.6-1.9).

Conclusions: Although based on retrospective data, the study confirms the role of trastuzumab as first-line treatment in metastatic breast cancer outside of a controlled trial. Moreover, information obtained on the use of trastuzumab beyond disease progression supports its use in this setting.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTumori
PublisherIl Pensiero Scientifico Editore s.r.l.
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2014


  • HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer
  • Trastuzumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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