Newly-released results of a large, long-running clinical trial have shown that one year of treatment with Herceptin (trastuzumab) is as good as two years of treatment for women with HER2-positive early breast cancer.
The HERA trial, which has been running since 2001, recruited 5102 women with HER2-positive early breast cancer. After being treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy as recommended by their medical team, the women were randomly assigned to one of three trial arms: Herceptin every three weeks for one year, Herceptin every three weeks for two years, or observation (no Herceptin).
The results re-confirmed earlier findings that there are significant benefits in terms of disease-free survival and overall survival of Herceptin versus no Herceptin, and found that the benefit of Herceptin after treatment is completed remains over time and is not lost after some years.
The trial found that extending the length of Herceptin treatment to two years did not significantly improve outcomes for women compared with one year’s treatment.
“The key message for 2012 is that one year of treatment with trastuzumab remains the standard care for HER2-positive early breast cancer patients,” said the lead researcher Professor Richard Gelber (Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA).
In Australia, one year of treatment with Herceptin is the standard care for women with HER2-positive early breast cancer.
- For more information read the media release issued by European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO).