Neoadjuvant Trastuzumab Emtansine and Pertuzumab in Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2-Positive Breast Cancer: Three-Year Outcomes From the Phase III KRISTINE Study

J Clin Oncol. 2019 Sep 1;37(25):2206-2216. doi: 10.1200/JCO.19.00882. Epub 2019 Jun 3.


Purpose: The KRISTINE study compared neoadjuvant trastuzumab emtansine plus pertuzumab (T-DM1+P) with docetaxel, carboplatin, trastuzumab plus P (TCH+P) for the treatment human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive stage II to III breast cancer. T-DM1+P led to a lower pathologic complete response rate (44.4% v 55.7%; P = .016), but fewer grade 3 or greater and serious adverse events (AEs). Here, we present 3-year outcomes from KRISTINE.

Methods: Patients were randomly assigned to neoadjuvant T-DM1+P or TCH+P every 3 weeks for six cycles. Patients who received T-DM1+P continued adjuvant T-DM1+P, and patients who received TCH+P received adjuvant trastuzumab plus pertuzumab. Secondary end points included event-free survival (EFS), overall survival, patient-reported outcomes (measured from random assignment), and invasive disease-free survival (IDFS; measured from surgery).

Results: Of patients, 444 were randomly assigned (T-DM1+P, n = 223; TCH+P, n = 221). Median follow-up was 37 months. Risk of an EFS event was higher with TDM-1+P (hazard ratio [HR], 2.61 [95% CI, 1.36 to 4.98]) with more locoregional progression events before surgery (15 [6.7%] v 0). Risk of an IDFS event after surgery was similar between arms (HR, 1.11 [95% CI, 0.52 to 2.40]). Pathologic complete response was associated with a reduced risk of an IDFS event (HR, 0.24 [95% CI, 0.09 to 0.60]) regardless of treatment arm. Overall, grade 3 or greater AEs (31.8% v 67.7%) were less common with T-DM1+P. During adjuvant treatment, grade 3 or greater AEs (24.5% v 9.9%) and AEs leading to treatment discontinuation (18.4% v 3.8%) were more common with T-DM1+P. Patient-reported outcomes favored T-DM1+P during neoadjuvant treatment and were similar to trastuzumab plus pertuzumab during adjuvant treatment.

Conclusion: Compared with TCH+P, T-DM1+P resulted in a higher risk of an EFS event owing to locoregional progression events before surgery, a similar risk of an IDFS event, fewer grade 3 or greater AEs during neoadjuvant treatment, and more AEs leading to treatment discontinuation during adjuvant treatment.

Trial registration: NCT02131064.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Docetaxel / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism*
  • Trastuzumab / administration & dosage


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Docetaxel
  • Carboplatin
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • pertuzumab
  • Trastuzumab

Associated data