Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Cancer and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Trastuzumab with either docetaxel or vinorelbine as first-line treatment for patients with HER2-positive advanced breast cancer: a retrospective comparison

Stefania Redana1, Michela Donadio2, Franco Nolè3, Maria Elena Jacomuzzi4, Alessandra Beano2, Rossella Martinello1, Anna Sapino5, Giuseppe Viale6, Massimo Aglietta1 and Filippo Montemurro1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Division of Medical Oncology, Candiolo Italy

2 Molinette Hospital, Centro Oncologico Subalpino (COES), Turin, Italy

3 European Institute of Oncology (IEO), Department of Medical Oncology, Milan, Italy

4 Mauriziano Hospital, Division of Gynecology, Torino, Italy

5 University of Turin, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Turin, Italy

6 European Institute of Oncology (IEO), Division of Surgical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Milan, Italy

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2010, 10:28  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-28

Published: 1 February 2010

Abstract

Background

Combinations of trastuzumab with either docetaxel or vinorelbine are considered valuable treatment options for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients. We performed a retrospective comparison of the clinical outcomes associated with either one of these combinations.

Methods

From a multi-institutional database we retrieved 179 patients treated with either docetaxel or vinorelbine plus trastuzumab as first-line therapy for HER2-positive advanced breast cancer.

Results

Docetaxel-trastuzumab was superior to vinorelbine-trastuzumab in terms of response rate (RR: 77 vs 57%, p = 0.01) and median overall survival (OS: 35 vs 23 months, p = 0.04), but not in median time to progression (TTP: 12 vs 10 months, p = 0.53). At multivariate analysis, type of treatment was not associated with TTP but was an independent predictor of OS, with a significant reduction in the risk of death in favor of docetaxel-trastuzumab (HR 0.474, 95% IC 0,303-0.742, p < 0.01).

Conclusion

Docetaxel or vinorelbine, when combined with trastuzumab, provide excellent rates of tumor control in patients with previously untreated HER2-positive advanced breast cancer. Docetaxel may offer some advantage in terms of response rate and resulted in a significantly prolonged overall survival, which, because of the retrospective design of our study, deserves further investigation in prospective trials.