Purpose: Neratinib plus capecitabine (N+C) demonstrated significant progression-free survival (PFS) benefit in NALA (NCT01808573), a randomized phase III trial comparing N+C with lapatinib + capecitabine (L+C) in 621 patients with HER2-positive (HER2+) metastatic breast cancer (MBC) who had received ≥2 prior HER2-directed regimens in the metastatic setting. We evaluated correlations between exploratory biomarkers and PFS. Patients and Methods: Somatic mutations were evaluated by next-generation sequencing on primary or metastatic samples. HER2 protein expression was evaluated by central IHC, H-score, and VeraTag/HERmark. p95 expression (truncated HER2) was measured by VeraTag. HRs were estimated using unstratified Cox proportional hazards models. Results: Four hundred and twenty samples had successful sequencing: 34.0% had PIK3CA mutations and 5.5% had HER2 (ERBB2) mutations. In the combined patient populations, PIK3CA mutations trended toward shorter PFS [wild-type vs. mutant, HR ¼ 0.81; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.64-1.03], whereas HER2 mutations trended toward longer PFS [HR ¼ 1.69 (95% CI, 0.97-3.29)]. Higher HER2 protein expression was associated with longer PFS [IHC 3þ vs. 2+, HR ¼ 0.67 (0.54-0.82); H-score ≥240 versus <240, HR ¼ 0.77 (0.63-0.93); HERmark positive vs. negative, HR ¼ 0.76 (0.59-0.98)]. Patients whose tumors had higher HER2 protein expression (any method) derived an increased benefit from N+C compared with LþC [IHC 3+, HR ¼ 0.64 (0.51-0.81); H-score ≥ 240, HR ¼ 0.54 (0.41-0.72); HERmark positive, HR ¼ 0.65 (0.50-0.84)], as did patients with high p95 [p95 ≥2.8 relative fluorescence (RF)/mm2, HR ¼ 0.66 (0.50-0.86) vs. p95 < 2.8 RF/mm2, HR ¼ 0.91 (0.61-1.36)]. Conclusions: PIK3CA mutations were associated with shorter PFS whereas higher HER2 expression was associated with longer PFS. Higher HER2 protein expression was also associated with a greater benefit for N+C compared with L+C.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research