Purpose Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) targeting plus endocrine therapy (ET) improved clinical benefit in HER2-positive, hormone receptor (HR)-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) versus ET alone. Dual HER2 blockade enhances clinical benefit versus single HER2 blockade. The ALTERNATIVE study evaluated the efficacy and safety of dual HER2 blockade plus aromatase inhibitor (AI) in postmenopausal women with HER2-positive/HR-positive MBC who received prior ET and prior neo(adjuvant)/first-line trastuzumab (TRAS) plus chemotherapy. Methods Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive lapatinib (LAP) + TRAS + AI, TRAS + AI, or LAP + AI. Patients for whom chemotherapy was intended were excluded. The primary end point was progressionfree survival (PFS; investigator assessed) with LAP + TRAS + AI versus TRAS + AI. Secondary end points were PFS (comparison of other arms), overall survival, overall response rate, clinical benefit rate, and safety. Results Three hundred fifty-five patients were included in this analysis: LAP + TRAS + AI (n = 120), TRAS + AI (n = 117), and LAP + AI (n = 118). Baseline characteristics were balanced. The study met its primary end point; superior PFS was observed with LAP + TRAS + AI versus TRAS + AI (median PFS, 11 v 5.7 months; hazard ratio, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.88; P = .0064). Consistent PFS benefit was observed in predefined subgroups. Overall response rate, clinical benefit rate, and overall survival also favored LAP + TRAS + AI. The median PFS with LAP + AI versus TRAS + AI was 8.3 versus 5.7 months (hazard ratio, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.98; P = .0361). Common adverse events (AEs; $ 15%) with LAP + TRAS + AI, TRAS + AI, and LAP + AI were diarrhea (69%, 9%, and 51%, respectively), rash (36%, 2%, and 28%, respectively), nausea (22%, 9%, and 22%, respectively), and paronychia (30%, 0%, and 15%, respectively),mostly grade 1 or 2. Serious AEswere reported similarly across the three groups, and AEs leading to discontinuation were lower with LAP + TRAS + AI. Conclusion Dual HER2 blockade with LAP + TRAS + AI showed superior PFS benefit versus TRAS + AI in patients with HER2-positive/HR-positive MBC. This combination offers an effective and safe chemotherapy-sparing alternative treatment regimen for this patient population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research