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Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology

Delaying Chemotherapy in the Treatment of Hormone Receptor–Positive, Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2–Negative Advanced Breast Cancer

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Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology 2015:9 137-147

Review

Published on 30 Dec 2015

DOI: 10.4137/CMO.S31586


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Abstract

Global guidelines for the management of locally advanced or metastatic hormone receptor–positive (HR-positive), human epidermal growth factor 2–negative (HER2-negative) breast cancer recommend endocrine therapy as first-line treatment for all patients, regardless of age or postmenopausal status. However, current practice patterns in the United States and Europe suggest that these modes of therapy are not being used as recommended, and many patients with advanced HR-positive, HER2-negative disease are being treated first-line with chemotherapy or switched to chemotherapy after a single endocrine therapy. Given that chemotherapy is associated with increased toxicity and reduced quality of life (QOL) compared with endocrine therapy, prolonging the duration of response obtained with endocrine therapy may help delay chemotherapy and its attendant toxicities. Several strategies to delay or overcome endocrine resistance and thereby postpone chemotherapy have been explored, including the use of second-line endocrine agents with different mechanisms of action, adding targeted agents that inhibit specific resistance pathways, and adding agents that act in complementary or synergistic ways to inhibit tumor cell proliferation. This review analyzes the different therapy options available to HR-positive, HER2-negative patients with advanced breast cancer that can be used to delay chemotherapy and enhance QOL.



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