ASCO 2019 Breast Cancer Update

Thursday, August 22, 2019

William J. Gradishar, MD, of Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, chats with host David H. Henry, MD, to review some of the top breast cancer research presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Plus, in Clinical Correlation, Ilana Yurkiewicz, MD, of Stanford (Calif.) University, talks about dealing with help-seeking and help-rejecting patients.

Show notes

This episode discusses three randomized, controlled phase 3 trials that were presented at ASCO 2019:

  • KRISTINE trial (abstract 500)
    • Design: Patients with HER2-positive breast cancer were randomized to receive either neoadjuvant trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and chemotherapy (docetaxel, carboplatin) vs. trastuzumab emtansine plus pertuzumab.
    • Primary endpoint: Pathological complete response rate.
    • Secondary endpoints: Toxicity, event-free survival, invasive disease-free survival.
    • Conclusion: Docetaxel, carboplatin, and trastuzumab plus pertuzumab resulted in a higher rate of pathological complete response than did trastuzumab emtansine plus pertuzumab, but was associated with more serious adverse events.
  • PREDIX trial (abstract 501)
    • Design: Patients with HER2 positive and hormone receptor positive breast cancer were randomized to receive either neoadjuvant trastuzumab emtansine monotherapy vs. docetaxel, trastuzumab, and pertuzumab.
    • Primary endpoint: Pathological complete response rate.
    • Secondary endpoints: Toxicity and quality of life.
    • Conclusions: Trastuzumab emtansine monotherapy was better tolerated while maintaining comparable PCR rate as the group which received docetaxel, trastuzumab, and pertuzumab.
  • TAILORx trial (abstract 503)
    • Design: Patients with node-negative, estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer with an Oncotype DX recurrence score of 11-25 were randomized to receive either hormone therapy alone or hormone therapy together with combination chemotherapy.
    • Primary endpoint: Rate of distant recurrence at 9 years.
    • Conclusions:
      • There was no benefit from chemotherapy for younger women (aged 50 years or younger) with a recurrence score of 16-20 and at low risk clinically (small tumor size and favorable histologic grade).
      • Those age younger than age 50 years with a score of 16-20, but high risk clinically, may benefit from chemotherapy.
      • Much of the benefit derived from chemotherapy was because of ovarian suppression.
      • Using the recurrence score in combination with clinical risk stratification allows clinicians to identify more young women who can be spared chemotherapy, and more young women who may benefit from antiestrogen therapy.

Show notes by Sugandha Landy, MD, a resident in the department of internal medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.


J Clin Oncol 37. 2019 May 20 (suppl; abstr 500). doi: 10.1200/JCO.2019.37.15_suppl.500.

J Clin Oncol 37. 2019 May 20 (suppl; abstr 501). doi: 10.1200/JCO.2019.37.15_suppl.501.

J Clin Oncol 37. 2019 May 20 (suppl; abstr 503). doi: 10.1200/JCO.2019.37.15_suppl.503.

Lancet Oncol. 2018 Jan;19(1):115-26.

N Engl J Med. 2019 Jun 20;380:2395-405.

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Podcast Participants

David Henry, MD
David Henry, MD, FACP, is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and vice chairman of the department of medicine at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his MD from the University of Pennsylvania, then completed his internship, residency, and fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After 2 years as an attending in the U.S. Air Force, he was drawn to practicing as a hem-onc because of the close patient contact and interaction, and his belief that, win or lose with each patient, one can always make a difference in their care and lives. Follow Dr. Henry on Twitter: @davidhenrymd.
Ilana Yurkiewicz, MD
Ilana Yurkiewicz, MD, is a fellow in hematology and oncology at Stanford University, where she also completed her internal medicine residency. Dr. Yurkiewicz holds an MD from Harvard Medical School and a BS from Yale University. She went into hematology and oncology because of the high-stakes decision-making, meaningful relationships with patients, and opportunity to help people through some of the toughest challenges of their lives. Dr. Yurkiewicz is also a medical journalist. She is a former AAAS Mass Media Fellow and Scientific American blog columnist, and her writing has appeared in numerous media outlets including Hematology News, where she writes the monthly column Hard Questions. Dr. Yurkiewicz is on Twitter: @ilanayurkiewicz.