Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Comparing Trastuzumab-Based Regimens in Older Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer

By: Meg Barbor, MPH
Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017

A comparative analysis of two trastuzumab-based chemotherapy regimens in older women with early-stage breast cancer revealed a negligible difference in efficacy and safety between the treatments, according to research published by Katherine E. Reeder-Hayes, MD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The investigators used Medicare data from 2005 to 2013 to compare outcomes with two regimens in women older than age 65 with HER2-positive breast cancer: ACTH (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, paclitaxel, and trastuzumab) and TCH (docetaxel, carboplatin, and trastuzumab).

Data from 1,077 patients were analyzed; 365 received ACTH and 712 received TCH. There was a significant shift toward TCH over time, with 88% of patients receiving ACTH in 2005 compared with 15% by 2011.

There was no significant difference in hospital stays, emergency visits, or observation visits between the groups, and no significant differences were reported in 5-year breast cancer–specific or overall survival. However, patients receiving TCH were significantly more likely to complete trastuzumab (89% vs. 77%).

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