Prognostic value of residual disease after neoadjuvant therapy in HER2-positive breast cancer evaluated by residual cancer burden, neoadjuvant response index, and Neo-BioSCore

Tessa G. Steenbruggen, Maartje van Seijen, Liselore M. Janssen, Mette S. van Ramshorst, Erik van Werkhoven, Marie-Jeanne T. D. F. Vrancken Peeters, Jelle Wesseling, Esther H. Lips, Gabe S. Sonke

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In breast cancer, pathologic complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST) is associated with favorable long-term outcome. Trastuzumab emtansine as additional adjuvant therapy improves recurrence-free survival of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer without pCR, but it is uncertain whether all patients without pCR need additional therapy. We evaluated the prognostic value of residual disease after trastuzumab-based NST in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer using Residual Cancer Burden (RCB), Neoadjuvant Response Index (NRI), and Neo-Bioscore. Experimental Design: We included patients with stage II or III HER2-positive breast cancer treated with trastuzumab-based NST and surgery at The Netherlands Cancer Institute between 2004 and 2016. RCB, NRI, and Neo-Bioscore were determined. Primary endpoint was 5-year recurrence-free interval (RFI). A 3% difference compared with the pCR group was considered acceptable as noninferiority margin on the 5-year RFI estimate, based on a proportional hazards model, and its lower 95% confidence boundary. Results: A total of 283 women were included. Median follow-up was 67 months (interquartile range 44–100). A total of 157 patients (56%) with pCR (breast and axilla) had a 5-year RFI of 92% (95% CI, 88–97); patients without pCR had a 5-year RFI of 80% (95% CI, 72–88). Patients with an RCB ¼ 1 (N ¼ 40, 15%), an NRI score between 0.75 and 0.99 (N ¼ 30, 11%), or a Neo-Bioscore of 0 to 1 (without pCR; N ¼ 28, 11%) have a 5-year RFI that falls within a predefined noninferiority margin of 3% compared with patients with pCR. Conclusions: The RCB, NRI, and Neo-Bioscore can identify patients with HER2-positive breast cancer with minimal residual disease (i.e., RCB ¼ 1, NRI 0.75, or Neo-Bioscore ¼ 0–1) after NST who have similar 5-year RFI compared with patients with pCR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4985-4992
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019

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