JAMA Oncol 2020 Aug 13
Effect of Adjuvant Paclitaxel and Carboplatin on Survival in Women With Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: A Phase 3 Randomized Clinical Trial.   
The value of platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) remains controversial, as does whether BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) germline variants are associated with platinum treatment sensitivity.
To compare 6 cycles of paclitaxel plus carboplatin (PCb) with a standard-dose regimen of 3 cycles of cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, and fluorouracil followed by 3 cycles of docetaxel (CEF-T).
Design, Setting, and Participants
This phase 3 randomized clinical trial was conducted at 9 cancer centers and hospitals in China. Between July 1, 2011, and April 30, 2016, women aged 18 to 70 years with operable TNBC after definitive surgery (having pathologically confirmed regional node-positive disease or node-negative disease with tumor diameter >10 mm) were screened and enrolled. Exclusion criteria included having metastatic or locally advanced disease, having non-TNBC, or receiving preoperative anticancer therapy. Data were analyzed from December 1, 2019, to January 31, 2020, from the intent-to-treat population as prespecified in the protocol.
Participants were randomized to receive PCb (paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 and carboplatin [area under the curve = 2] on days 1, 8, and 15 every 28 days for 6 cycles) or CEF-T (cyclophosphamide 500 mg/m2, epirubicin 100 mg/m2, and fluorouracil 500 mg/m2 every 3 weeks for 3 cycles followed by docetaxel 100 mg/m2 every 3 weeks for 3 cycles).
Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary end point was disease-free survival (DFS). Secondary end points included overall survival, distant DFS, relapse-free survival, DFS in patients with germline variants in BRCA1/2 or homologous recombination repair (HRR)-related genes, and toxicity.
A total of 647 patients (mean [SD] age, 51 [44-57] years) with operable TNBC were randomized to receive CEF-T (n = 322) or PCb (n = 325). At a median follow-up of 62 months, DFS time was longer in those assigned to PCb compared with CEF-T (5-year DFS, 86.5% vs 80.3%, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.44-0.96; P = .03). Similar outcomes were observed for distant DFS and relapse-free survival. There was no statistically significant difference in overall survival between the groups (HR = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.42-1.22, P = .22). In the exploratory and hypothesis-generating subgroup analyses of PCb vs CEF-T, the HR for DFS was 0.44 (95% CI, 0.15-1.31; P = .14) in patients with the BRCA1/2 variant and 0.39 (95% CI, 0.15-0.99; P = .04) in those with the HRR variant. Safety data were consistent with the known safety profiles of relevant drugs.
Conclusions and Relevance
These findings suggest that a paclitaxel-plus-carboplatin regimen is an effective alternative adjuvant chemotherapy choice for patients with operable TNBC. In the era of molecular classification, subsets of TNBC sensitive to PCb should be further investigated.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01216111.

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