Systemic Therapy for Patients With Advanced Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2–Positive Breast Cancer: American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline

Published online before print May 5, 2014, DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2013.54.0948
Sharon H. Giordano, Sarah Temin, Jeffrey J. Kirshner, Sarat Chandarlapaty, Jennie R. Crews, Nancy E. Davidson, Francisco J. Esteva, Ana M. Gonzalez-Angulo, Ian Krop, Jennifer Levinson, Nancy U. Lin, Shanu Modi, Debra A. Patt, Edith A. Perez, Jane Perlmutter, Naren Ramakrishna, and Eric P. Winer

Purpose: To provide evidence-based recommendations to practicing oncologists and others on systemic therapy for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) –positive advanced breast cancer.

MethodsThe American Society of Clinical Oncology convened a panel of medical oncology, radiation oncology, guideline implementation, and advocacy experts and conducted a systematic literature review from January 2009 to October 2012. Outcomes of interest included overall survival, progression-free survival (PFS), and adverse events.

Results: A total of 16 trials met the systematic review criteria. The CLEOPATRA trial found survival and PFS benefits for docetaxel, trastuzumab, and pertuzumab in first-line treatment, and the EMILIA trial found survival and PFS benefits for trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) in second-line treatment. T-DM1 also showed a third-line PFS benefit. One trial reported on duration of HER2-targeted therapy, and three others reported on endocrine therapy for patients with HER-positive advanced breast cancer. 

Recommendations: HER2-targeted therapy is recommended for patients with HER2-positive advanced breast cancer, except for those with clinical congestive heart failure or significantly compromised left ventricular ejection fraction, who should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and taxane for first-line treatment and T-DM1 for second-line treatment are recommended. In the third-line setting, clinicians should offer other HER2-targeted therapy combinations or T-DM1 (if not previously administered) and may offer pertuzumab, if the patient has not previously received it. Optimal duration of chemotherapy is at least 4 to 6 months or until maximum response, depending on toxicity and in the absence of progression. HER2-targeted therapy can continue until time of progression or unacceptable toxicities. For patients with HER2-positive and estrogen receptor–positive/progesterone receptor–positive breast cancer, clinicians may recommend either standard first-line therapy or, for selected patients, endocrine therapy plus HER2-targeted therapy or endocrine therapy alone.


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Last updated: 5/05/14