Background: Unresectable locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative (hormone-receptor-negative and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [HER2]-negative) breast cancer is an aggressive disease with poor outcomes. Nanoparticle albumin-bound (nab)-paclitaxel may enhance the anticancer activity of atezolizumab.
Methods: In this phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned (in a 1:1 ratio) patients with untreated metastatic triple-negative breast cancer to receive atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel or placebo plus nab-paclitaxel; patients continued the intervention until disease progression or an unacceptable level of toxic effects occurred. Stratification factors were the receipt or nonreceipt of neoadjuvant or adjuvant taxane therapy, the presence or absence of liver metastases at baseline, and programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression at baseline (positive vs. negative). The two primary end points were progression-free survival (in the intention-to-treat population and PD-L1-positive subgroup) and overall survival (tested in the intention-to-treat population; if the finding was significant, then it would be tested in the PD-L1-positive subgroup).
Results: Each group included 451 patients (median follow-up, 12.9 months). In the intention-to-treat analysis, the median progression-free survival was 7.2 months with atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel, as compared with 5.5 months with placebo plus nab-paclitaxel (hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.69 to 0.92; P=0.002); among patients with PD-L1-positive tumors, the median progression-free survival was 7.5 months and 5.0 months, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.49 to 0.78; P<0.001). In the intention-to-treat analysis, the median overall survival was 21.3 months with atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel and 17.6 months with placebo plus nab-paclitaxel (hazard ratio for death, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.69 to 1.02; P=0.08); among patients with PD-L1-positive tumors, the median overall survival was 25.0 months and 15.5 months, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.86). No new adverse effects were identified. Adverse events that led to the discontinuation of any agent occurred in 15.9% of the patients who received atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel and in 8.2% of those who received placebo plus nab-paclitaxel.
Conclusions: Atezolizumab plus nab-paclitaxel prolonged progression-free survival among patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer in both the intention-to-treat population and the PD-L1-positive subgroup. Adverse events were consistent with the known safety profiles of each agent. (Funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech; IMpassion130 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02425891 .).