Patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer often benefit from EC-TH neoadjuvant therapy (epirubicin/cyclophosphamide followed by docetaxel plus trastuzumab). A study presented at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting examined the effectiveness of adding pyrotinib, a new tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI).
The study enrolled 56 patients ages 18 to 65 years who had invasive, HER2-positive breast cancer. They randomized them to neoadjuvant therapy with EC-TH alone (n = 16) or EC-TH with pyrotinib (n = 40). Each patient completed eight cycles of treatment, and 20 had radical surgery afterward.
The researchers found that EC-TH plus pyrotinib significantly increased the rate of pathological complete response. The most common adverse event was diarrhea, which went as far as grade 3 in 3 patients, mostly during the first cycle. Diarrhea did not occur in the control group. Both groups experienced similar rates of leukopenia, and no patients experienced cardiovascular dysfunction.
The authors, led by Xiangmei Zhang, of the Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University in Shijiazhuang, China, concluded that pyrotinib added to EC-TH neoadjuvant therapy could be a useful strategy against HER2-positive breast cancer.