Platinum-based chemotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer: A meta-analysis

Oncol Lett. 2013 Mar;5(3):983-991. doi: 10.3892/ol.2012.1093. Epub 2012 Dec 28.


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) tumors do not express estrogen, progesterone or HER2/neu-receptors. There are no specific treatment guidelines for TNBC patients, however, it has been postulated that their phenotypic and molecular similarity to BRCA1-associated cancers would confer sensitivity to certain cytotoxic agents, including platinum. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the clinical outcome of breast cancer patients treated with platinum-based chemotherapy who had TNBC compared with those with non-TNBC. Electronic (MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases) and manual searches were conducted throughout December 2011 to identify trials evaluating the use of platinum-based chemotherapy for patients with breast cancer. The methodological quality was assessed in accordance with the QUOROM statement. Seven studies met the eligibility criteria, with a total of 717 patients. Of these patients, 225 were TNBC patients (31%), 492 were non-TNBC patients (69%), 275 received platinum-based neo-adjuvant chemotherapy and 442 had advanced/metastatic breast cancers. The results showed that during neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, the clinical complete response (cCR) rate and the pathological complete response (pCR) rates were significantly higher for the TNBC group compared with the non-TNBC group (OR, 2.68; 95% CI, 1.69-6.57; P=0.03 and OR, 2.89; 95% CI, 1.28, 6.53; P= 0.01, respectively). However, in advanced/metastatic breast cancers, the cCR, partial response (PR) and the disease control rates for the TNBC group were not significantly different compared with the non-TNBC group. The 6-month progression-free survival (PFS) rate for the TNBC group was higher than that of the non-TNBC group in all patients (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.11-2.96; P= 0.02). However, the 1- and 2-year PFS rates were not significantly different (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 0.69-2.92; P=0.35 and OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.35-3.52; P= 0.85, respectively). Furthermore, the PFS rates were not significantly different between the groups in patients with advanced/metastatic breast cancer. In conclusion, platinum-based chemotherapy in the breast cancer patients with TNBC showed an improved short-term efficacy compared with the non-TNBC group during neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, but has not yet been demonstrated to have an improved effect in advanced breast cancer.

Keywords: meta-analysis; platinum; triple-negative breast cancer.