Long‐Term Survival of De Novo Stage IV Human Epidermal Growth Receptor 2 (HER2) Positive Breast Cancers Treated with HER2‐Targeted Therapy

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AbstractBackground.An increasing proportion of human epidermal growth receptor 2 (HER2) positive (HER2+) metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is diagnosed as de novo stage IV disease. We hypothesize that a subset of these patients who achieve no evidence of disease (NED) status after multimodality HER2‐targeted treatments may have prolonged progression‐free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).Materials and Methods.Patients with de novo stage IV, HER2+ MBC (n = 483) diagnosed between 1998 and 2015 were identified at two institutions (Yale and MD Anderson Cancer Centers). Clinical variables, treatment details, and survival outcomes were compared between those who achieved NED and those who did not.Results.All patients received trastuzumab, and 20% also received pertuzumab as first‐line therapy. The median OS was 5.5 years (95% confidence interval [Cl]: 4.8–6.2). Sixty‐three patients (13.0%) achieved NED; their PFS and OS rates were 100% and 98% (95% CI: 94.6%–100%), respectively, at 5 years and remained the same at 10 years. For patients with no NED (n = 420), the PFS and OS rates were 12% (95% CI: 4.5%–30.4%) and 45% (95% CI: 38.4%–52.0%) at 5 years and 0% and 4% (95% CI, 1.3%–13.2%) at 10 years, respectively. NED patients more frequently had solitary metastasis (79% vs. 51%, p = .005) and surgery to resect cancer (59% vs. 22%, p ≤ .001). In multivariate analysis, NED status (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.014, p = .0002) and estrogen receptor positive status (HR: 0.72; p = .04) were associated with prolonged OS.Conclusion.Among patients with de novo stage IV, HER2+ MBC, those who achieve NED status have a very high PFS and OS. Further randomized studies are required to fully understand the impact of systemic or locoregional therapy on achieving these excellent long‐term outcomes.Implications for Practice.In this retrospective review at two institutions, it was demonstrated that 13% of patients with de novo stage IV, human epidermal growth receptor 2 positive metastatic breast cancer achieved no evidence of disease (NED) status with trastuzumab‐based therapy plus/minus local therapies, and these patients had a very high progression‐free survival (100%) and overall survival (98%) at both the 5‐ and 10‐year time points. Achieving NED status may be an important therapeutic goal. However, further randomized studies are required to fully understand the impact of systemic or locoregional therapy on achieving these excellent long‐term outcomes.

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