Trastuzumab Emtansine for HER2-positive Advanced Breast Cancer

N Engl J Med. 2012 Nov 8;367(19):1783-91. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1209124. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

Abstract

Background: Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) is an antibody-drug conjugate incorporating the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-targeted antitumor properties of trastuzumab with the cytotoxic activity of the microtubule-inhibitory agent DM1. The antibody and the cytotoxic agent are conjugated by means of a stable linker.

Methods: We randomly assigned patients with HER2-positive advanced breast cancer, who had previously been treated with trastuzumab and a taxane, to T-DM1 or lapatinib plus capecitabine. The primary end points were progression-free survival (as assessed by independent review), overall survival, and safety. Secondary end points included progression-free survival (investigator-assessed), the objective response rate, and the time to symptom progression. Two interim analyses of overall survival were conducted.

Results: Among 991 randomly assigned patients, median progression-free survival as assessed by independent review was 9.6 months with T-DM1 versus 6.4 months with lapatinib plus capecitabine (hazard ratio for progression or death from any cause, 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55 to 0.77; P<0.001), and median overall survival at the second interim analysis crossed the stopping boundary for efficacy (30.9 months vs. 25.1 months; hazard ratio for death from any cause, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.85; P<0.001). The objective response rate was higher with T-DM1 (43.6%, vs. 30.8% with lapatinib plus capecitabine; P<0.001); results for all additional secondary end points favored T-DM1. Rates of grade 3 or 4 adverse events were higher with lapatinib plus capecitabine than with T-DM1 (57% vs. 41%). The incidences of thrombocytopenia and increased serum aminotransferase levels were higher with T-DM1, whereas the incidences of diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia were higher with lapatinib plus capecitabine.

Conclusions: T-DM1 significantly prolonged progression-free and overall survival with less toxicity than lapatinib plus capecitabine in patients with HER2-positive advanced breast cancer previously treated with trastuzumab and a taxane. (Funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech; EMILIA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00829166.).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ado-Trastuzumab Emtansine
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Capecitabine
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Fluorouracil / analogs & derivatives
  • Humans
  • Intention to Treat Analysis
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lapatinib
  • Maytansine / adverse effects
  • Maytansine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Maytansine / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / drug therapy
  • Quinazolines / administration & dosage
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / analysis*
  • Survival Rate
  • Trastuzumab
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Quinazolines
  • Lapatinib
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Maytansine
  • Capecitabine
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Trastuzumab
  • Ado-Trastuzumab Emtansine
  • Fluorouracil

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00829166