Purpose: Clinical evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of systemic therapy for advanced salivary duct carcinoma (SDC) is lacking because of the disease's rarity. We assessed the efficacy and toxicity of trastuzumab plus docetaxel in patients with locally advanced and/or recurrent or metastatic human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive SDC.
Patients and methods: This was a single-center, single-arm, open-label, phase II study in Japan. The patients received trastuzumab at a loading dose of 8 mg/kg, followed by 6 mg/kg every 3 weeks. Docetaxel 70 mg/m2 was administrated every 3 weeks. The primary end point was the overall response rate; the secondary end points included the clinical benefit rate, progression-free survival, overall survival, and toxicity. This study is registered with the University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry (Identification No. UMIN000009437).
Results: Fifty-seven eligible patients with SDC were enrolled. The overall response rate was 70.2% (95% CI, 56.6% to 81.6%), and the clinical benefit rate was 84.2% (95% CI, 72.1% to 92.5%). Median progression-free and overall survival times were 8.9 months (95% CI, 7.8 to 9.9 months) and 39.7 months (95% CI, not reached), respectively. The most frequent adverse event was anemia (52 patients [91%]), followed by a decreased WBC count (51 patients [89%]) and neutropenia (50 patients [88%]). The most frequently observed grade 4 adverse event was a decreased neutrophil count (34 patients [60%]). Grade 3 febrile neutropenia was reported in eight patients (14%). No grade 2 or greater adverse events of heart failure or left ventricular ejection fraction decline to less than 50% occurred.
Conclusion: Our data show encouraging efficacy of trastuzumab plus docetaxel therapy in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive SDC, with a manageable toxicity profile.