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Journal of Clinical Oncology

Journal of Clinical Oncology RSS feed - Early Release
Journal of Clinical Oncology










Purpose

Patients with esophageal carcinoma (EC) who are treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy (bimodality therapy [BMT]) experience frequent relapses. In a large cohort, we assessed the timing, frequency, and types of relapses during an aggressive surveillance program and the value of the salvage strategies.

Patients and Methods

Patients with EC (N = 276) who received BMT were analyzed. Patients who had surgery within 6 months of chemoradiotherapy were excluded to reduce bias. We focused on local relapse (LR) and distant metastases (DM) and the salvage treatment of patients with LR only. Standard statistical methods were applied.

Results

The median follow-up time was 54.3 months (95% CI, 48.4 to 62.4). First relapses included LR only in 23.2% (n = 64), DM with or without LR in 43.5% (n = 120), and no relapses in 33.3% (n = 92) of patients. Final relapses included no relapses in 33.3%, LR only in 14.5%, DM only in 15.9%, and DM plus LR in 36.2% of patients. Ninety-one percent of LRs occurred within 2 years and 98% occurred within 3 years of BMT. Twenty-three (36%) of 64 patients with LR only underwent salvage surgery, and their median overall survival was 58.6 months (95% CI, 28.8 to not reached) compared with those patients with LR only who were unable to undergo surgery (9.5 months; 95% CI, 7.8 to 13.3).

Conclusion

Unlike in patients undergoing trimodality therapy, for whom surveillance/salvage treatment plays a lesser role,1 in the BMT population, approximately 8% of all patients (or 36% of patients with LR only) with LRs occurring more than 6 months after chemoradiotherapy can undergo salvage treatment, and their survival is excellent. Our data support vigilant surveillance, at least in the first 24 months after chemotherapy, in these patients.





Purpose

Pazopanib is an oral, multikinase inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) -1/-2/-3, platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) -α/-β, and c-Kit. Preclinical and clinical studies support VEGFR and PDGFR as targets for advanced ovarian cancer treatment. This study evaluated the role of pazopanib maintenance therapy in patients with ovarian cancer whose disease did not progress during first-line chemotherapy.

Patients and Methods

Nine hundred forty patients with histologically confirmed cancer of the ovary, fallopian tube, or peritoneum, International Federation Gynecology Obstetrics (FIGO) stages II-IV, no evidence of progression after primary therapy consisting of surgery and at least five cycles of platinum-taxane chemotherapy were randomized 1:1 to receive pazopanib 800 mg once per day or placebo for up to 24 months. The primary end point was progression-free survival by RECIST 1.0 assessed by the investigators.

Results

Maintenance pazopanib prolonged progression-free survival compared with placebo (hazard ratio [HR], 0.77; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.91; P = .0021; median, 17.9 v 12.3 months, respectively). Interim survival analysis based on events in 35.6% of the population did not show any significant difference. Grade 3 or 4 adverse events of hypertension (30.8%), neutropenia (9.9%), liver-related toxicity (9.4%), diarrhea (8.2%), fatigue (2.7%), thrombocytopenia (2.5%), and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (1.9%) were significantly higher in the pazopanib arm. Treatment discontinuation related to adverse events was higher among patients treated with pazopanib (33.3%) compared with placebo (5.6%).

Conclusion

Pazopanib maintenance therapy provided a median improvement of 5.6 months (HR, 0.77) in progression-free survival in patients with advanced ovarian cancer who have not progressed after first-line chemotherapy. Overall survival data to this point did not suggest any benefit. Additional analysis should help to identify subgroups of patients in whom improved efficacy may balance toxicity (NCT00866697).




Purpose

Male pattern baldness and prostate cancer appear to share common pathophysiologic mechanisms. However, results from previous studies that assess their relationship have been inconsistent. Therefore, we investigated the association of male pattern baldness at age 45 years with risks of overall and subtypes of prostate cancer in a large, prospective cohort—the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial.

Methods

We included 39,070 men from the usual care and screening arms of the trial cohort who had no cancer diagnosis (excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) at the start of follow-up and recalled their hair-loss patterns at age 45 years. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs were estimated by using Cox proportional hazards regression models with age as the time metric.

Results

During follow-up (median, 2.78 years), 1,138 incident prostate cancer cases were diagnosed, 571 of which were aggressive (biopsy Gleason score ≥ 7, and/or clinical stage III or greater, and/or fatal). Compared with no baldness, frontal plus moderate vertex baldness at age 45 years was not significantly associated with overall (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.98 to 1.45) or nonaggressive (HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.72 to 1.30) prostate cancer risk but was significantly associated with increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer (HR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.80). Adjustment for covariates did not substantially alter these estimates. Other classes of baldness were not significantly associated with overall or subtypes of prostate cancer.

Conclusion

Our analysis indicates that frontal plus moderate vertex baldness at age 45 years is associated with an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer and supports the possibility of common pathophysiologic mechanisms.


Purpose

The optimal regimen to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) for patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) is unclear. To evaluate the effect of aprepitant in addition to a standard regimen, we conducted this randomized, placebo-controlled phase III trial.

Patients and Methods

Patients with multiple myeloma were randomly assigned at a one-to-one ratio to receive either aprepitant (125 mg orally on day 1 and 80 mg orally on days 2 to 4), granisetron (2 mg orally on days 1 to 4), and dexamethasone (4 mg orally on day 1 and 2 mg orally on days 2 to 3) or matching placebo, granisetron (2 mg orally on days 1 to 4), and dexamethasone (8 mg orally on day 1 and 4 mg orally on days 2 to 3). Melphalan 100 mg/m2 was administered intravenously on days 1 to 2. ASCT was performed on day 4. The primary end point (complete response) was defined as no emesis and no rescue therapy within 120 hours of melphalan administration. Quality of life was assessed by modified Functional Living Index–Emesis (FLIE) questionnaire on days –1 and 6.

Results

Overall, 362 patients were available for the efficacy analysis (181 in each treatment arm). Significantly more patients receiving aprepitant reached the primary end point (58% v 41%; odds ratio [OR], 1.92; 95% CI, 1.23 to 3.00; P = .0042). Absence of major nausea (94% v 88%; OR, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.09 to 5.15; P = .026) and emesis (78% v 65%; OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.25 to 3.18; P = .0036) within 120 hours was increased by aprepitant. Mean total FLIE score (± standard deviation) was 114 ± 18 for aprepitant and 106 ± 26 for placebo (P < .001).

Conclusion

The addition of aprepitant resulted in significantly less CINV and had a positive effect on quality of life.


Purpose

Steroid-refractory graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major and often fatal complication after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (alloSCT). Although the pathophysiology of steroid refractoriness is not fully understood, evidence is accumulating that endothelial cell stress is involved, and endothelial thrombomodulin (THBD) plays a role in this process. Here we assess whether single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the THBD gene predict outcome after alloSCT.

Patients and Methods

Seven SNPs within the THBD gene were studied (rs1962, rs1042579, rs1042580, rs3176123, rs3176124, rs3176126, and rs3176134) in a training cohort of 306 patients. The relevant genotypes were then validated in an independent cohort (n = 321).

Results

In the training cohort, an increased risk of nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was associated with three of seven SNPs tested: rs1962, rs1042579 (in linkage disequilibrium with rs3176123), and rs1042580. When patients were divided into risk groups (one v no high-risk SNP), a strong correlation with NRM was observed (hazard ratio [HR], 2.31; 95% CI, 1.36 to 3.95; P = .002). More specifically, NRM was predicted by THBD SNPs in patients who later developed GVHD (HR, 3.03; 95% CI, 1.61 to 5.68; P < .001) but not in patients without GVHD. In contrast, THBD SNPs did not predict incidence of acute GVHD. Multivariable analyses adjusting for clinical variables confirmed the independent effect of THBD SNPs on NRM. All findings could be reproduced in the validation cohort.

Conclusion

THBD SNPs predict mortality of manifest GVHD but not the risk of acquiring GVHD, supporting the hypothesis that endothelial vulnerability contributes to GVHD refractoriness.


Purpose

An often under-recognized late manifestation of prostate adenocarcinoma (PCa) is the development of treatment-related neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC). The aim of this study is to identify the risk factors related to survival after NEPC diagnosis (NEPCS) and time from initial diagnosis of PCa to development of NEPC (TTNEPC).

Patients and Methods

A literature search on NEPC was performed using databases such as MEDLINE and EMBASE. Studies were eligible if outcomes data (NEPCS and/or TTNEPC) were reported in patients with a prior history of PCa and histopathologically confirmed NEPC. NEPCS and TTNEPC were evaluated using the Cox regression model with the robust sandwich estimates of the covariance matrix.

Results

There were 54 eligible publications, contributing 123 patients. The median TTNEPC was 20 months. In multivariable analyses, the Gleason score was significantly associated with shorter TTNEPC (hazard ratio [HR], 1.66; P = .032). The median NEPCS was 7 months. In multivariable analyses, the number of organs with metastatic disease at NEPC was significantly associated with shorter NEPCS (HR, 3.31; P = .001). Type of treatment after NEPC was significantly associated with longer NEPCS, with HRs of 0.66 (radiotherapy v palliative therapy; P = .034), 0.38 (chemotherapy v palliative therapy; P = .018), and 0.29 (chemoradiotherapy v palliative therapy; P = .012), respectively.

Conclusion

Treatment-related NEPC is an often under-recognized late manifestation of PCa with poor prognosis. Our study found that Gleason score was the only independent factor contributing to TTNEPC. Once NEPC is diagnosed, type of treatment and the number of organs with metastatic disease were the most important factors related to survival.


Purpose

Cabozantinib (XL184), an oral inhibitor of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases such as MET and VEGFR2, was evaluated in a phase II nonrandomized expansion study in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

Patients and Methods

Patients received open-label cabozantinib at daily starting doses of 100 mg or 40 mg until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end point was bone scan response, defined as ≥ 30% reduction in bone scan lesion area. Other efficacy end points included overall survival, pain, analgesic use, and biomarkers.

Results

One hundred forty-four patients sequentially enrolled in either a 100-mg (n = 93) or 40-mg (n = 51) study cohort. Ninety-one patients (63%) had a bone scan response, often by week 6. Treatment resulted in clinically meaningful pain relief (57% of patients) and reduction or discontinuation of narcotic analgesics (55% of patients), as well as improvements in measurable soft tissue disease, circulating tumor cells, and bone biomarkers. Improvements in each of these outcomes were observed in both cohorts: bone scan response in 73% and 45%, respectively; reductions in measurable soft tissue disease in 80% and 79%, respectively. Median overall survival was 10.8 months for the entire population. Most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were fatigue (22%) and hypertension (14%). Fewer dose reductions because of toxicity were required in the 40-mg group.

Conclusion

The evidence suggests that cabozantinib has clinically meaningful activity in CRPC. Cabozantinib resulted in improvements in bone scans, pain, analgesic use, measurable soft tissue disease, circulating tumor cells, and bone biomarkers. Taken together, these phase II observations warrant further development of cabozantinib in prostate cancer.


Purpose

Carfilzomib is an irreversible inhibitor of the constitutive proteasome and immunoproteasome. This phase I study evaluated the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of carfilzomib administered as a 30-minute intravenous (IV) infusion. Safety and efficacy of carfilzomib as a single agent or in combination with low-dose dexamethasone were assessed.

Patients and Methods

Patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (MM) were administered single-agent carfilzomib on days 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16 of a 28-day cycle. Cycle one day 1 and 2 doses were 20 mg/m2, followed thereafter by dose escalation to 36, 45, 56, or 70 mg/m2. Additionally, carfilzomib was combined with low-dose dexamethasone (40 mg/wk).

Results

Thirty-three patients were treated with single-agent carfilzomib. Dose-limiting toxicities in two patients at 70 mg/m2 were renal tubular necrosis and proteinuria (both grade 3). The MTD was 56 mg/m2. Nausea (51.5%), fatigue (51.5%), pyrexia (42.4%), and dyspnea and thrombocytopenia (each 39.4%) were the most common treatment-related toxicities. Overall response rate (ORR) was 50% (56-mg/m2 cohort). Increasing carfilzomib dosing from 20 to 56 mg/m2 resulted in higher area under the plasma concentration-time curve from time zero to last sampling and maximum plasma concentration exposure with short half-life (range, 0.837 to 1.21 hours) and dose-dependent inhibition of proteasome chymotrypsin-like activity. In 22 patients treated with 45 or 56 mg/m2 of carfilzomib plus low-dose dexamethasone, the ORR was 55% with a safety profile comparable to that of single-agent carfilzomib.

Conclusion

Carfilzomib administered as a 30-minute IV infusion at 56 mg/m2 (as single agent or with low-dose dexamethasone) was generally well tolerated and highly active in patients with relapsed and/or refractory MM. These data have provided the basis for the phase III randomized, multicenter trial ENDEAVOR.










Purpose

Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway aberrations are common in breast cancer, with mutations in PIK3CA being the most common. This study investigated the association between PIK3CA genotype and pathologic complete response (pCR) rates in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) –positive breast cancer treated with either dual or single anti-HER2 treatment in addition to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Patients and Methods

PIK3CA mutations in 504 tumor samples from participants in the neoadjuvant GeparQuattro, GeparQuinto, and GeparSixto studies were evaluated. All HER2-positive patients received either trastuzumab or lapatinib or the combination plus anthracycline-taxane chemotherapy. PIK3CA mutations were evaluated in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues from core biopsies with a tumor cell content of ≥ 20% by using classical Sanger sequencing of exon 9 and exon 20.

Results

Overall, 21.4% of the patients harbored a PIK3CA mutation. Detection of a PIK3CA mutation was significantly associated with a lower pCR rate (19.4% with PIK3CA mutation v 32.8% with PIK3CA wild-type; odds ratio [OR], 0.49; 95% CI, 0.29 to 0.83; P = .008). In the 291 hormone receptor (HR) –positive tumors, pCR rate was 11.3% with a PIK3CA mutation compared with 27.5% with PIK3CA wild-type (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.15 to 0.78; P = .011). In 213 patients with HR-negative tumors, pCR rate was 30.4% with PIK3CA mutation and 40.1% without (OR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.32 to 1.32; P = .233; interaction test P = .292). In multivariable analysis, HR status and PIK3CA status provided independent predictive information. In patients with PIK3CA mutation, the pCR rates were 16%, 24.3%, and 17.4% with lapatinib, trastuzumab, and the combination, respectively (P = .654) and in the wild-type group, they were 18.2%, 33.%, and 37.1%, respectively (P = .017). Disease-free survival and overall survival were not statistically significantly different between patients with mutant and wild-type PIK3CA.

Conclusion

HER2-positive breast carcinomas with a PIK3CA mutation are less likely to achieve a pCR after neoadjuvant anthracycline-taxane–based chemotherapy plus anti-HER2 treatment, even if a dual anti-HER2 treatment is given.


Purpose

To describe hopeful and persuasive messages communicated by physicians during informed consent for phase I trials and examine whether such communication is associated with physician and parent ratings of the likelihood of benefit, physician and parent ratings of the strength of the physician’s recommendation to enroll, parent ratings of control, and parent ratings of perceived pressure.

Patients and Methods

Participants were children with cancer (n = 85) who were offered a phase I trial along with their parents and physicians. Informed consent conferences (ICCs) were audiotaped and coded for physician communication of hope and persuasion. Parents completed an interview (n = 60), and physicians completed a case-specific questionnaire.

Results

The most frequent hopeful statements related to expectations of positive outcomes and provision of options. Physicians failed to mention no treatment and/or palliative care as options in 68% of ICCs and that the disease was incurable in 85% of ICCs. When physicians mentioned no treatment and/or palliative care as options, both physicians and parents rated the physician’s strength of recommendation to enroll in the trial lower.

Conclusion

Hopes and goals other than cure or longer life were infrequently mentioned, and a minority of physicians communicated that the disease was incurable and that no treatment and/or palliative care were options. These findings are of concern, given the low likelihood of medical benefit from phase I trials. Physicians have an important role to play in helping families develop alternative goals when no curative options remain.


Purpose

To provide treatment recommendations for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

Methods

The American Society of Clinical Oncology and Cancer Care Ontario convened an expert panel to develop evidence-based recommendations informed by a systematic review of the literature.

Results

When added to androgen deprivation, therapies demonstrating improved survival, improved quality of life (QOL), and favorable benefit-harm balance include abiraterone acetate/prednisone, enzalutamide, and radium-223 (223Ra; for men with predominantly bone metastases). Improved survival and QOL with moderate toxicity risk are associated with docetaxel/prednisone. For asymptomatic/minimally symptomatic men, improved survival with unclear QOL impact and low toxicity are associated with sipuleucel-T. For men who previously received docetaxel, improved survival, unclear QOL impact, and moderate to high toxicity risk are associated with cabazitaxel/prednisone. Modest QOL benefit (without survival benefit) and high toxicity risk are associated with mitoxantrone/prednisone after docetaxel. No benefit and excess toxicity are observed with bevacizumab, estramustine, and sunitinib.

Recommendations

Continue androgen deprivation (pharmaceutical or surgical) indefinitely. Abiraterone acetate/prednisone, enzalutamide, or 223Ra should be offered; docetaxel/prednisone should also be offered, accompanied by discussion of toxicity risk. Sipuleucel-T may be offered to asymptomatic/minimally symptomatic men. For men who have experienced progression with docetaxel, cabazitaxel may be offered, accompanied by discussion of toxicity risk. Mitoxantrone may be offered, accompanied by discussion of limited clinical benefit and toxicity risk. Ketoconazole or antiandrogens (eg, bicalutamide, flutamide, nilutamide) may be offered, accompanied by discussion of limited known clinical benefit. Bevacizumab, estramustine, and sunitinib should not be offered. There is insufficient evidence to evaluate optimal sequences or combinations of therapies. Palliative care should be offered to all patients.


Palliative care is a fundamental component of cancer care. As part of the 2011 to 2012 Leadership Development Program (LDP) of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), a group of participants was charged with advising ASCO on how to develop a service model integrating palliative care throughout the continuum of cancer care. This article presents the findings of the LDP group. The group focused on the process of palliative care delivery in the oncology setting. We identified key elements for models of palliative care in various settings to be potentially equitable, sustainable, feasible, and acceptable, and here we describe a dynamic model for the integrated, simultaneous implementation of palliative care into oncology practice. We also discuss critical considerations to better integrate palliative care into oncology, including raising consciousness and educating both providers and the public about the importance of palliative care; coordinating palliative care efforts through strengthening affiliations and/or developing new partnerships; prospectively evaluating the impact of palliative care on patient and provider satisfaction, quality improvement, and cost savings; and ensuring sustainability through adequate reimbursement and incentives, including linkage of performance data to quality indicators, and coordination with training efforts and maintenance of certification requirements for providers. In light of these findings, we believe the confluence of increasing importance of incorporation of palliative care education in oncology education, emphasis on value-based care, growing use of technology, and potential cost savings makes developing and incorporating palliative care into current service models a meaningful goal.


Purpose

Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) lowers mortality from ovarian/tubal and breast cancers among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Uncertainties persist regarding potential benefits of RRSO among high-risk noncarriers, optimal surgical age, and anatomic origin of clinically occult cancers detected at surgery. To address these topics, we analyzed surgical treatment arm results from Gynecologic Oncology Group Protocol-0199 (GOG-0199), the National Ovarian Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Study.

Participants and Methods

This analysis included asymptomatic high-risk women age ≥ 30 years who elected RRSO at enrollment. Women provided risk factor data and underwent preoperative cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) serum testing and transvaginal ultrasound (TVU). RRSO specimens were processed according to a standardized tissue processing protocol and underwent central pathology panel review. Research-based BRCA1/2 mutation testing was performed when a participant’s mutation status was unknown at enrollment. Relationships between participant characteristics and diagnostic findings were assessed using univariable statistics and multivariable logistic regression.

Results

Invasive or intraepithelial ovarian/tubal/peritoneal neoplasms were detected in 25 (2.6%) of 966 RRSOs (BRCA1 mutation carriers, 4.6%; BRCA2 carriers, 3.5%; and noncarriers, 0.5%; P < .001). In multivariable models, positive BRCA1/2 mutation status (P = .0056), postmenopausal status (P = .0023), and abnormal CA-125 levels and/or TVU examinations (P < .001) were associated with detection of clinically occult neoplasms at RRSO. For 387 women with negative BRCA1/2 mutation testing and normal CA-125 levels, findings at RRSO were benign.

Conclusion

Clinically occult cancer was detected among 2.6% of high-risk women undergoing RRSO. BRCA1/2 mutation, postmenopausal status, and abnormal preoperative CA-125 and/or TVU were associated with cancer detection at RRSO. These data can inform management decisions among women at high risk of ovarian/tubal cancer.




Purpose

Currently, antiangiogenic strategies in metastatic breast cancer have demonstrated modest improvements in progression-free survival (PFS) but not improved quality or duration of survival, warranting evaluation of new agents in a placebo-controlled setting. Ramucirumab is a human immunoglobulin G1 antibody that binds vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 and blocks ligand-stimulated activation. The ROSE/TRIO-012 trial evaluated ramucirumab with docetaxel in unresectable, locally recurrent, or metastatic breast cancer.

Patients and Methods

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, multinational phase III trial, 1,144 patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) –negative breast cancer who had not received cytotoxic chemotherapy in the advanced setting were randomly assigned at a two-to-one ratio to receive docetaxel 75 mg/m2 plus ramucirumab 10 mg/kg or docetaxel 75 mg/m2 plus placebo once every 3 weeks. Treatment continued until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or other withdrawal criteria. Patients were stratified by previous taxane therapy, visceral metastasis, hormone receptor status, and geographic region. An independent data monitoring committee oversaw the trial. The primary end point was investigator-assessed PFS.

Results

Median PFS in patients treated with ramucirumab plus docetaxel was 9.5 months, compared with 8.2 months in patients who received placebo plus docetaxel (hazard ratio [HR], 0.88; P = .077). Median overall survival was 27.3 months in patients who received ramucirumab plus docetaxel, compared with 27.2 months in patients who received placebo plus docetaxel (HR, 1.01; P = .915). Toxicities seen at significantly higher rates in patients receiving ramucirumab included fatigue, hypertension, febrile neutropenia, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome, and stomatitis.

Conclusion

Addition of ramucirumab to docetaxel in HER2-negative advanced breast cancer did not meaningfully improve important clinical outcomes.








Purpose

To identify optimal chemo- and targeted therapy for women with human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2)– negative (or unknown) advanced breast cancer.

Methods

A systematic review of randomized evidence (including systematic reviews and meta-analyses) from 1993 through to current was completed. Outcomes of interest included survival, progression-free survival, response, quality of life, and adverse effects. Guideline recommendations were evidence based and were agreed on by the Expert Panel via consensus.

Results

Seventy-nine studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising 20 systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses, 30 trials on first-line treatment, and 29 trials on second-line and subsequent treatment. These trials form the evidence base for the guideline recommendations.

Recommendations

Endocrine therapy is preferable to chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with estrogen receptor–positive metastatic breast cancer unless improvement is medically necessary (eg, immediately life-threatening disease). Single agent is preferable to combination chemotherapy, and longer planned duration improves outcome but must be balanced against toxicity. There is no single optimal first-line or subsequent line chemotherapy, and choice of treatment will be determined by multiple factors including prior therapy, toxicity, performance status, comorbid conditions, and patient preference. The role of bevacizumab remains controversial. Other targeted therapies have not so far been shown to enhance chemotherapy outcome in HER2-negative breast cancer.