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HomeFirst Lookindex/list_13473_9Etoposide Plus Trastuzumab Shows Clinical Benefit in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Etoposide Plus Trastuzumab Shows Clinical Benefit in Metastatic Breast Cancer

The study covered in this summary was published on as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed.

Key Takeaway

  • In heavily pretreated women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC), the combination of etoposide and trastuzumab yielded prolonged responses in some patients, with manageable toxicity.

Why This Matters

  • The clinical benefit of the combination in HER2-positive MBC hadn’t been evaluated until now.

  • The findings suggest that etoposide and trastuzumab can be considered a treatment option for heavily pretreated patients.

Study Design

  • The team reviewed outcomes for 43 women treated with the combination at the Institut Curie Hospitals in Paris and Saint Cloud, France, where it is used for palliative, late-line treatment.

  • Patients had received a median number of six prior lines of treatment, and most had unfavorable clinical features, such as visceral metastases.

Key Results

  • Median progression-free survival was 2.9 months, and median overall survival was 11.3 months.

  • Thirty percent of patients had clinical benefit, and three had complete responses.

  • Just three patients stopped treatment because of toxicity.

  • Median progression free survival among patients with TOP2A/ERBB2 co-amplification was 4.7 months, vs 2.9 months without it.


  • It was a retrospective study with a small study population.


  • There was no funding for the study, and the investigators disclosed no relevant financial relationshps.

This is a summary of a preprint research study, “Oral etoposide and trastuzumab in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer: a retrospective study at Institut Curie Hospitals,” led by Florence Lerebours of the Institut Curie. The study has not been peer reviewed. The full text can be found at

M. Alexander Otto is a physician assistant with a master’s degree in medical science. He is an award-winning medical journalist who worked for several major news outlets before joining Medscape and is an MIT Knight Science Journalism fellow. Email:

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