FDA Expands Indication for Kadcyla to Include the Adjuvant Treatment of HER2-Positive Early Breast Cancer
On May 3, 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla; Genentech) for the adjuvant treatment of patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer who have residual invasive disease after neoadjuvant taxane and trastuzumab-based treatment. Patients should be selected for treatment with this agent based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic test (Ventana Medical System’s PATHWAY anti-HER-2/neu [4B5] Rabbit Monoclonal Primary Antibody assay or INFORM HER2 Dual ISH DNA Probe Cocktail assay).
This latest approval was based on the phase 3, multicenter, open-label KATHERINE clinical trial of 1486 patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer. Patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to ado-trastuzumab emtansine (3.6 mg/kg intravenously every 3 weeks) or trastuzumab (6 mg/kg intravenously every 3 weeks) for 14 cycles. Patients were required to have had neoadjuvant taxane and trastuzumab-based therapy with residual invasive tumor in the breast and/or axillary lymph nodes.
After a median follow-up of 40 months, results showed that treatment with ado-trastuzumab emtansine significantly improved invasive disease-free survival compared with trastuzumab (hazard ratio, 0.50; 95% confidence interval, 0.39-0.64; P <.0001).
The most common adverse reactions (≥25%) associated with ado-trastuzumab in patients with early breast cancer were fatigue, nausea, increased transaminases, musculoskeletal pain, hemorrhage, thrombocytopenia, headache, peripheral neuropathy, and arthralgia.
Ado-trastuzumab emtansine was previously approved by the FDA on February 22, 2013, for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancer who previously received trastuzumab and a taxane, separately or in combination.
The recommended dose of ado-trastuzumab emtansine is 3.6 mg/kg given as an intravenous infusion, every 3 weeks (21-day cycle), until disease recurrence or unacceptable toxicity, or a total of 14 cycles for patients with early breast cancer.
At Johns Hopkins Hospital, each specialist in my practice sees approximately 8 to 10 patients with nonmetastatic NSCLC per month, some of whom are not candidates for surgery based on physiologic parameters. In most cases, we follow the NCCN Guidelines or ASCO clinical practice guidelines in our management of patients with early-stage NSCLC, except in clinical scenarios where the patient may not fit into a particular category within the guidelines, or when we enroll a patient in a clinical trial. For example, we may determine that a neoadjuvant clinical study is appropriate for a patient with stage IB NSCLC, whereas this recommendation is not concordant with the NCCN Guidelines. There are also instances in which we apply recently published clinical study data when managing our patients—even before the NCCN Guidelines have been updated to reflect the most recent findings.
Although the cost of care can have severe effects on patients with cancer and their families, oncologists rarely address financial toxicity, according to Hanna K. Sanoff, MD, MPH, Medical Director, University of North Carolina (UNC) NC Cancer Hospital Clinics.