Early Breast Cancer Highlights From ASCO 2019

Harold J. Burstein, MD, PhD


June 21, 2019

Key studies on early breast cancer presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) focused on optimal management in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings.

In HER2-positive breast cancer, Dr Harold Burstein reviewed the results of two studies that focused on replacing traditional systemic chemotherapy with targeted therapy. Data from the phase 3 KRISTINE study and the Swedish PREDIX study showed nearly equivalent rates of pathologic complete response in the chemotherapy and targeted therapy arms, suggesting that many women may be able to forego a chemotherapy regimen for a less toxic anti-HER2 regimen.

In hormone receptor–positive breast cancer, Dr Burstein reviewed a key analysis of the TAILORx trial, which suggested that women younger than 50 years of age with an intermediate risk score for recurrence may not require adjuvant chemotherapy. In the original study, this subset of patients appeared to benefit from chemotherapy, but the analysis revealed that the benefit most likely derived from the endocrine effects of the chemotherapy, which could be provided by endocrine therapy alone.

Two other notable studies in the HR-positive space focused on the benefits of extended adjuvant endocrine therapy.


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