Dr. Tolaney Reflects on Data from the PERSEPHONE Trial

Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH
Published: Tuesday, Sep 18, 2018



Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH, instructor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, attending physician of medical oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, reflects on data from the PERSEPHONE trial in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Tolaney says that there has been a lot of interest regarding the duration of trastuzumab (Herceptin) treatment for patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer. Data from the PERSEPHONE trial presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting showed that a shorter 6-month course of adjuvant trastuzumab was found to be noninferior for disease-free survival compared with a 12-month schedule.

The problem with this trial, Tolaney says, is it was done in a different era where patients were receiving sequential therapy. Now, it has been established that concurrent treatment with chemotherapy yields better outcomes. High-risk patients typically receive pertuzumab (Perjeta) and trastuzumab, while low-risk patients receive abbreviated chemotherapy with trastuzumab, Tolaney explains.
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Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH, instructor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, attending physician of medical oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, reflects on data from the PERSEPHONE trial in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Tolaney says that there has been a lot of interest regarding the duration of trastuzumab (Herceptin) treatment for patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer. Data from the PERSEPHONE trial presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting showed that a shorter 6-month course of adjuvant trastuzumab was found to be noninferior for disease-free survival compared with a 12-month schedule.

The problem with this trial, Tolaney says, is it was done in a different era where patients were receiving sequential therapy. Now, it has been established that concurrent treatment with chemotherapy yields better outcomes. High-risk patients typically receive pertuzumab (Perjeta) and trastuzumab, while low-risk patients receive abbreviated chemotherapy with trastuzumab, Tolaney explains.



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