(HealthDay News) — New presurgery chemotherapy combinations are beneficial for women with triple-negative breast cancer, according to two studies presented at the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held from Dec. 10 to 14 in San Antonio.
William M. Sikov, M.D., from the Miriam Hospital and Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues randomized women with operable stage 2 or 3 triple-negative breast cancer to receive either standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone (108 patients) or standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus bevacizumab (110 patients), carboplatin (113 patients), or both bevacizumab and carboplatin (112 patients). The researchers found that, at surgery, four to eight weeks after completion of neoadjuvant treatment, in the standardized chemotherapy alone group, cancer had been eliminated from the breast in 42 percent of patients and from the breast and lymph nodes in 39 percent. The proportions increased to 50 and 43 percent, 53 and 49 percent, and 67 and 60 percent, respectively, with the addition of bevacizumab, carboplatin, and bevacizumab and carboplatin.
Hope S. Rugo, M.D., from the University of California San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues randomized women with breast cancer to the veliparib plus carboplatin regimen in combination with paclitaxel or to paclitaxel followed by anthracycline-based chemotherapy (control) before surgery. The researchers found that the pathologic complete response rate for patients with triple-negative breast cancer was 52 percent for veliparib, carboplatin, and paclitaxel followed by anthracycline-based chemotherapy, compared with 26 percent for control-treated patients.
“These results predict that the veliparib/carboplatin regimen is highly likely to be superior to the control regimen for triple-negative breast cancer in a phase III trial,” Rugo said in a statement.
The Sikov study was partially funded by Genentech. Unrestricted funding for the I-SPY 2 trial in the Rugo study was partially provided by pharmaceutical companies.