Panelists: Adam M. Brufsky, MD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh; Sara Hurvitz, MD, UCLA; Joyce A. O'Shaughnessy, MD, US Oncology; Edith A. Perez, MD, Mayo Clinic; Hope S. Rugo, MD, UCSF; Andrew D. Seidman, MD, MSKCC
Published Online: Monday, June 24, 2013
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In February 2013, the FDA approved T-DM1 (ado-trastuzumab emtansine; Kadcyla) for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. T-DM1 was the first antibody drug conjugate (ADC) to show activity in breast cancer, explains Edith A. Perez, MD. Furthermore, this novel drug design allows for the delivery of a potent chemotherapy agent directly to HER2-positive cells, effectively combining the efficacy of both agents while minimizing toxicity.
The approval of T-DM1 was based on data from the phase III EMILIA trial that compared the agent to lapatinib plus capecitabine, Perez continues. This trial globally enrolled 991 patients with advanced breast cancer, although only 978 received treatment. All accrued patients had been previously treated with trastuzumab and a taxane.
The trial had coprimary endpoints of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). T-DM1 demonstrated superiority over the doublet by significantly extending PFS by 3.2 months and OS by 5.8 months. Moreover, treatment with T-DM1 was associated with fewer side effects. These findings effectively shifted the global standard of care for these patients, Perez states.
Moderator, Adam M. Brufsky, MD, PhD, believes that several questions accompany the EMILIA trial, particularly since it is the first ADC to be approved in breast cancer. One of the lead questions, Brufsky suggests, involves future combinations and sequences for the agent. Furthermore, Brufsky believes, it remains unclear whether T-DM1 acts as a chemotherapy or an antibody. To address this, Andrew D. Seidman, MD, explains that, by itself, emtansine is very active but extremely toxic. Conjugating emtansine to trastuzumab preserves this efficacy and controls toxicity. However, treatment with T-DM1 seems to affect cells similarly to chemotherapy, Seidman believes.
The lingering question facing many breast oncologists is where to utilize this agent in the sequence. To help answer this question, the phase III MARIANNE trial is currently examining T-DM1 in combination with pertuzumab as a frontline treatment for patients with metastatic breast cancer.
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► Episode 1 Introduction and Exploration of Fulvestrant in Breast Cancer
Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
Medical Director of the Women’s Cancer Center at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Sara Hurvitz, MD
Assistant Professor & Director,
Hematology/Oncology Breast Cancer Program,
UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Los Angeles, California
Joyce A. O’Shaughnessy, MD
Co-Director, Breast Cancer Research
Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center
Texas Oncology, PA/US Oncology,
Edith A. Perez, MD
Deputy Director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center,
Director of the Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program and the Breast Program at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida
Hope S. Rugo, MD
Professor of Medicine and Director of the Breast Oncology, Clinical Trials, and Education Program, University of California San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center,
San Francisco, California
Andrew D. Seidman, MD
Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Cancer Center
Attending Physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
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