Endocrine-Sensitive Disease Rate in Postmenopausal Patients with Estrogen Receptor-Rich/ERBB2-Negative Breast Cancer Receiving Neoadjuvant Anastrozole, Fulvestrant, or Their Combination: A Phase 3 Randomized Clinical Trial

Cynthia X. Ma, Vera J. Suman, Souzan Sanati, Kiran Vij, Meenakshi Anurag, A. Marilyn Leitch, Gary W. Unzeitig, Jeremy Hoog, Aranzazu Fernandez-Martinez, Cheng Fan, Richard A. Gibbs, Mark A. Watson, Travis J. Dockter, Olwen Hahn, Joseph M. Guenther, Abigail Caudle, Erika Crouch, Amy Tiersten, Monica Mita, Wajeeha RazaqTina J. Hieken, Yang Wang, Mothaffar F. Rimawi, Anna Weiss, Eric P. Winer, Kelly K. Hunt, Charles M. Perou, Matthew J. Ellis, Ann H. Partridge, Lisa A. Carey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Importance: Adding fulvestrant to anastrozole (A+F) improved survival in postmenopausal women with advanced estrogen receptor (ER)-positive/ERBB2 (formerly HER2)-negative breast cancer. However, the combination has not been tested in early-stage disease. Objective: To determine whether neoadjuvant fulvestrant or A+F increases the rate of pathologic complete response or ypT1-2N0/N1mic/Ki67 2.7% or less residual disease (referred to as endocrine-sensitive disease) over anastrozole alone. Design, Setting, and Participants: A phase 3 randomized clinical trial assessing differences in clinical and correlative outcomes between each of the fulvestrant-containing arms and the anastrozole arm. Postmenopausal women with clinical stage II to III, ER-rich (Allred score 6-8 or >66%)/ERBB2-negative breast cancer were included. All analyses were based on data frozen on March 2, 2023. Interventions: Patients received anastrozole, fulvestrant, or a combination for 6 months preoperatively. Tumor Ki67 was assessed at week 4 and optionally at week 12, and if greater than 10% at either time point, the patient switched to neoadjuvant chemotherapy or immediate surgery. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the endocrine-sensitive disease rate (ESDR). A secondary outcome was the percentage change in Ki67 after 4 weeks of neoadjuvant endocrine therapy (NET) (week 4 Ki67 suppression). Results: Between February 2014 and November 2018, 1362 female patients (mean [SD] age, 65.0 [8.2] years) were enrolled. Among the 1298 evaluable patients, ESDRs were 18.7% (95% CI, 15.1%-22.7%), 22.8% (95% CI, 18.9%-27.1%), and 20.5% (95% CI, 16.8%-24.6%) with anastrozole, fulvestrant, and A+F, respectively. Compared to anastrozole, neither fulvestrant-containing regimen significantly improved ESDR or week 4 Ki67 suppression. The rate of week 4 or week 12 Ki67 greater than 10% was 25.1%, 24.2%, and 15.7% with anastrozole, fulvestrant, and A+F, respectively. Pathologic complete response/residual cancer burden class I occurred in 8 of 167 patients and 17 of 167 patients, respectively (15.0%; 95% CI, 9.9%-21.3%), after switching to neoadjuvant chemotherapy due to week 4 or week 12 Ki67 greater than 10%. PAM50 subtyping derived from RNA sequencing of baseline biopsies available for 753 patients (58%) identified 394 luminal A, 304 luminal B, and 55 nonluminal tumors. A+F led to a greater week 4 Ki67 suppression than anastrozole alone in luminal B tumors (median [IQR], -90.4% [-95.2 to -81.9%] vs -76.7% [-89.0 to -55.6%]; P <.001), but not luminal A tumors. Thirty-six nonluminal tumors (65.5%) had a week 4 or week 12 Ki67 greater than 10%. Conclusions and Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial, neither fulvestrant nor A+F significantly improved the 6-month ESDR over anastrozole in ER-rich/ERBB2-negative breast cancer. Aromatase inhibition remains the standard-of-care NET. Differential NET response by PAM50 subtype in exploratory analyses warrants further investigation. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01953588.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-371
Number of pages10
JournalJAMA oncology
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 21 2024

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