Vol 26, No 2 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-03-04

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The impact of HER2-directed targeted therapy on HER2-positive DCIS of the breast

Gary D. Lewis1, Waqar Haque2, Andrew Farach2, Sandra S Hatch3, E. Brian Butler2, Polly A. Niravath4, Mary R. Schwartz5, Elizabeth Bonefas6, Bin S. Teh2
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2021;26(2):179-187.


BACKGROUND: In invasive breast cancer, HER2 is a well-established negative prognostic factor. However, its significance on the prognosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast is unclear. As a result, the impact of HER2-directed therapy on HER2-positive DCIS is unknown and is currently the subject of ongoing clinical trials. In this study, we aim to determine the possible impact of HER2-directed targeted therapy on survival outcomes for HER2-positive DCIS patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) was used to retrieve patients with biopsy-proven DCIS diagnosed from 2004–2015. Patients were divided into two groups based on the adjuvant therapy they received: systemic HER2-directed targeted therapy or no systemic therapy. Statistics included multivariable logistic regression to determine factors predictive of receiving systemic therapy, Kaplan-Meier analysis to evaluate overall survival (OS), and Cox proportional hazards modeling to determine variables associated with OS.

RESULTS: Altogether, 1927 patients met inclusion criteria; 430 (22.3%) received HER2-directed targeted therapy; 1497 (77.7%) did not. Patients who received HER2-directed targeted therapy had a higher 5-year OS compared to patients that did not (97.7% vs. 95.8%, p = 0.043). This survival benefit remained on multivariable analysis. Factors associated with worse OS on multivariable analysis included Charlson-Deyo Comorbidity Score ≥ 2 and no receipt of hormonal therapy.

CONCLUSION: In this large study evaluating HER2-positive DCIS patients, the receipt of HER2-directed targeted therapy was associated with an improvement in OS. The results of currently ongoing clinical trials are needed to confirm this finding.

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