First-Line Trastuzumab Plus an Aromatase Inhibitor, With or Without Pertuzumab, in Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2-Positive and Hormone Receptor-Positive Metastatic or Locally Advanced Breast Cancer (PERTAIN): A Randomized, Open-Label Phase II Trial

J Clin Oncol. 2018 Oct 1;36(28):2826-2835. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2017.76.7863. Epub 2018 Aug 14.


Purpose: To assess pertuzumab plus trastuzumab and an aromatase inhibitor (AI) in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive and hormone receptor-positive metastatic/locally advanced breast cancer (MBC/LABC).

Patients and methods: The PERTAIN trial (NCT01491737) is an ongoing randomized, open-label, multicenter-80 sites and eight countries-phase II trial. Patients have HER2-positive, hormone receptor-positive MBC/LABC and no prior systemic therapy with the exception of endocrine. Random assignment was 1:1 to intravenous pertuzumab (840 mg loading dose followed by 420 mg every 3 weeks) plus trastuzumab (8 mg/kg followed by 6 mg/kg every 3 weeks), and oral anastrozole (1 mg every day) or letrozole (2.5 mg every day), or trastuzumab and an AI. Induction intravenous docetaxel every 3 weeks or paclitaxel every week could be administered for 18 to 24 weeks at the investigator's discretion (decided before but given after random assignment). Primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). Patients were stratified by whether they received induction chemotherapy and their time since adjuvant hormone therapy.

Results: One hundred twenty-nine patients were randomly assigned per arm (February 2012 to October 2014; intent-to-treat populations); 75 in one arm and 71 in the other were chosen to receive induction chemotherapy. Stratified median PFS was 18.89 months (95% CI, 14.09 to 27.66 months) in the pertuzumab plus trastuzumab arm and 15.80 months (95% CI, 11.04 to 18.56 months) in the trastuzumab arm (stratified hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.48 to 0.89; P = .0070). Serious adverse events (AEs) were reported for 42 (33.1%) of 127 and 24 (19.4%) of 124 patients in the safety populations of the pertuzumab plus trastuzumab and trastuzumab arms, respectively. Rates of grade ≥ 3 AEs were 64 (50.4%) of 127 and 48 (38.7%) of 124, respectively. There were no deaths as a result of AEs.

Conclusion: PERTAIN met its primary PFS end point. Pertuzumab plus trastuzumab and an AI is effective for the treatment of HER2-positive MBC/LABC. The safety profile was consistent with previous trials of pertuzumab plus trastuzumab.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Aromatase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Aromatase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Estrogen / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Progesterone / biosynthesis
  • Trastuzumab / administration & dosage*
  • Trastuzumab / adverse effects


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • pertuzumab
  • Trastuzumab

Associated data