APHINITY

Intro text: 

Overcoming resistance to treatment and reducing the risk of invasive breast cancer returning

Content: 

The APHINITY trial – involving 4,805 patients and 599 sites linked to 24 member groups covering 42 countries – tested whether adding pertuzumab to the standard adjuvant treatment (trastuzumab and chemotherapy) in patients with operable HER2-positive primary breast cancer improved the outcome of patients with the disease. Indeed, previous studies including HERA, had shown that trastuzumab combined with chemotherapy improved the chances of disease-free survival for this category of patients, and is now the standard of care. However, 40% of patients with this subtype of breast cancer may become resistant to trastuzumab.

Editor: 

APHINITY analysed whether adjuvant pertuzumab – which also acts on the HER2 marker – in combination with trastuzumab and chemotherapy in patients was better than standard treatment. It was found that this new dual anti-HER2 therapy regimen reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence or death by 19% compared to trastuzumab and chemotherapy alone. At three years, 94,1% of patients treated with pertuzumab in combination with trastuzumab and chemotherapy did not see a breast cancer recurrence, compared to 93,2% of patients treated with trastuzumab and chemotherapy alone.

The results of the APHINITY trial show a modest benefit from adding pertuzumab to trastuzumab. However, it is an important step in advancing cancer care for patients – especially for women with the highest risk – those with node-positive and hormone-receptor negative breast cancer.

Over the course of the clinical trial, samples were collected from all participating patients for future research. These samples will help identify biomarkers, which can help to predict response or toxicity of the dual anti-HER treatment, and better understand the biology of HER2+ tumours as well as develop and validate diagnostic tests.

This trial is run by BIG and the Institut Jules Bordet - Clinical Trials Support Unit in collaboration with Roche.

Main Publication

APHINITY tested whether adding pertuzumab to the standard adjuvant treatment in patients with operable HER2- positive primary breast cancer improved the outcome of patients with the disease