Neoadjuvant endocrine therapy with exemestane followed by response-guided combination therapy with low-dose cyclophosphamide in postmenopausal patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer: A multicenter, open-label, phase II study

Nobuaki Sato, Norikazu Masuda, Takashi Morimoto, Takayuki Ueno, Chizuko Kanbayashi, Koji Kaneko, Hiroyuki Yasojima, Shigehira Saji, Hironobu Sasano, Satoshi Morita, Shinji Ohno, Masakazu Toi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Patients with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer are less likely to achieve a pathological complete response (pCR) with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Neoadjuvant endocrine therapy may be more appropriate than neoadjuvant chemotherapy in these hormone-sensitive patients. Most patients with ER-positive breast cancer are postmenopausal, and therefore, generally older and less able to tolerate chemotherapy. We aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of tailored neoadjuvant endocrine and chemoendocrine therapy for postmenopausal breast cancer patients. Untreated patients with primary invasive ER-positive, HER2-negative, stage I-IIIA breast cancer, and Ki67 index ≤30% were enrolled. Patients received exemestane 25 mg/d for 12 weeks. Based on clinical response and change in Ki67 index, assessed at 8-12 weeks, patients with complete response (CR), partial response (PR) with Ki67 index ≤5% after treatment, or stable disease (SD) with Ki67 index ≤5% before and after treatment were defined as responders. For the subsequent 24 weeks, responders continued exemestane monotherapy (group A), and nonresponders received exemestane 25 mg/d plus cyclophosphamide 50 mg/d (group B). The primary endpoint was clinical response at weeks 24 and 36. A total of 59 patients (median age, 69 years) started initial exemestane monotherapy. After exclusion of three patients who discontinued during this period, 56 remained enrolled to receive subsequent treatment. Clinical response rates (CR and PR) and 95% CI at weeks 24 and 36 were 85% (12/14; 57.2%-98.2%) and 71% (10/14; 41.9%-91.6%), respectively, in group A; and 54% (23/42; 38.7%-70.2%) and 71% (30/42; 55.4%-84.3%), respectively, in group B. At week 36, no significant difference was found in median Ki67 index between the groups (3.5% and 4.0%). There were no treatment-related deaths. We found that clinical response comparable to that of responders was achieved in nonresponders after addition of cyclophosphamide to the initial endocrine therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3044-3056
Number of pages13
JournalCancer medicine
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul

Keywords

  • Ki67 index
  • aromatase inhibitors
  • breast neoplasms
  • neoadjuvant therapy
  • postmenopause
  • tailored therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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