Treatment with the chemotherapy agent capecitabine increased disease-free survival for women with HER2-negative breast cancer that was not eliminated by presurgery chemotherapy, according to results from the phase III CREATE-X clinical trial presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 8-12.
Treatment given to shrink or eliminate a tumor before surgery is called neoadjuvant therapy. In some patients with breast cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, residual invasive cancer can be detected in breast tissue samples and lymph nodes removed during surgery. These patients tend to have worse long-term outcomes compared with women who respond completely to neoadjuvant therapy.
"It has been suggested that patients with residual invasive disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy have chemoresistant breast cancer, but there have been no large-scale clinical trials to test whether adjuvant systemic chemotherapy is beneficial for these patients," said Masakazu Toi, MD, PhD, a professor at Kyoto University Hospital in Japan, and founder and senior director of the Japan Breast Cancer Research Group (JBCRG). "CREATE-X was designed to evaluate this clinical question by testing whether capecitabine could improve disease-free survival for patients with residual invasive disease after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.