Dr. Hudis on the CALGB 40601 Study in Breast Cancer
Clifford A. Hudis, MD
Published Online: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Clifford A. Hudis, MD, ASCO President-Elect and chief of the Breast Cancer Medicine Service and attending physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, discusses the findings of the CALGB 40601 study examining the neoadjuvant treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer.
The CALGB 40601 study was a randomized phase III trial looking at paclitaxel in combination with trastuzumab, lapatinib, or both for the neoadjuvant treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. The trial found that the combination of therapies is superior to one or the other alone, Hudis notes.
The second study, presented as a companion study, looked at the rate of conversation from mastectomy to lumpectomy following treatment. The findings from this portion of the study were particularly interesting because it was the first clinical demonstration that neoadjuvant downstaging in HER2-positive disease can increase the rate of breast conservation.
An updated guideline from ASCO regarding the use of sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in early stage breast cancer supports the use of the procedure over axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) in a larger group of patients than previously recommended.