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Treatment patterns and clinical outcomes for patients with de novo versus recurrent HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer


Improvements in screening and adjuvant therapy for breast cancer are associated with decreased recurrence, which may have the effect of increasing the proportion of patients presenting with first-line de novo versus recurrent metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Here, we describe and compare patients with de novo versus recurrent human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2)-positive MBC. registHER was a prospective observational cohort study (late 2003-early 2006) of 1,023 patients with HER2-positive MBC. Baseline characteristics, treatment patterns, and clinical outcomes were examined in patients with newly diagnosed de novo (n = 327) compared with recurrent HER2-positive MBC after prior treatment for early-stage disease (n = 674). Patients with de novo HER2-positive MBC were less likely to have lung metastases, more likely to have lymph node, bone, and/or liver metastases and >4 sites of metastases and more likely to receive combined or concurrent chemotherapy and hormonal therapy with or without trastuzumab than those with recurrent HER2-positive MBC. Median follow-up was 29 months. Median progression-free survival was 12.1 versus 9.3 months [hazard ratio = 0.716 (95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.617-0.831)], and overall survival was 41.7 versus 32.8 months [hazard ratio = 0.766 (95 % CI 0.633-0.928)] for patients with de novo versus recurrent HER2-positive MBC, respectively. Patients with recurrent HER2-positive MBC had similar outcomes regardless of whether they received prior adjuvant therapy, excluding hormonal therapy. Despite presenting with more advanced-stage disease and higher tumor burdens, patients with de novo HER2-positive MBC have more favorable clinical outcomes than those with recurrent HER2-positive MBC. These differences may be due to effects of prior drug exposure and could have implications for designing and interpreting clinical trials.

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