Purpose: Overexpression of the HER2 protein occurs in 25% to 30% of human breast cancers and leads to a particularly aggressive form of the disease. Efficacy and safety of recombinant humanized anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody as a single agent was evaluated in women with HER2-overexpressing metastatic breast cancer that had progressed after chemotherapy for metastatic disease. Patients and Methods: Two hundred twenty-two women, with HER2-overexpressing metastatic breast cancer that had progressed after one or two chemotherapy regimens, were enrolled. Patients received a loading dose of 4 mg/kg intravenously, followed by a 2-mg/kg maintenance dose at weekly intervals. Results: Study patients had advanced metastatic disease and had received extensive prior therapy. A blinded, independent response evaluation committee identified eight complete and 26 partial responses, for an objective response rate of 15% in the intent-to-treat population (95% confidence interval, 11% to 21%). The median duration of response was 9.1 months; the median duration of survival was 13 months. The most common adverse events, which occurred in approximately 40% of patients, were infusion-associated fever and/or chills that usually occurred only during the first infusion, and were of mild to moderate severity. These symptoms were treated successfully with acetaminophen and/or diphenhydramine. The most clinically significant adverse event was cardiac dysfunction, which occurred in 4.7% of patients. Only 1% of patients discontinued the study because of treatment-related adverse events. Conclusion: Recombinant humanized anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody, administered as a single agent, produces durable objective responses and is well tolerated by women with HER2-overexpressing metastatic breast cancer that has progressed after chemotherapy for metastatic disease. Side effects that are commonly observed with chemotherapy, such as alopecia, mucositis, and neutropenia, are rarely seen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research