The Next Steps for Pertuzumab in Breast Cancer

Sandra Swain, MD, medical director of the Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, gives an overview of the next steps for pertuzumab in breast cancer.

Sandra Swain, MD, medical director of the Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, gives an overview of the next steps for pertuzumab in breast cancer.

Recently, pertuzumab was approved with trastuzumab and docetaxel, based on outstanding survival data from the CLEOPATRA trial. Having used it a lot, Swain says, she recommends that the combination be used according to its indication. However, a study presented at the 2013 ASCO meeting showed a high response (about 50%) when paclitaxel was used instead of docetaxel, suggesting that either taxane could be acceptable for this patient population. Swain estimates that about 8,000 to 9,000 patients nationwide would be eligible for this treatment in the first-line setting.

Clinical Pearls

Beyond the first line, there are studies looking at trastuzumab and pertuzumab in heavily-pretreated patients. Studies are being done in this space, and while there is still not enough data, Swain says, she expects the combination to be effective.

  • Pertuzumab was approved with trastuzumab and docetaxel based on outstanding survival data from the CLEOPATRA trial
  • Beyond the first line, there are studies looking at the combination in heavily pretreated patients