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Less is not more

Here's a helpful comment by Drs. Filho and Burstein.

The PHARE, HORG, and SOLD studies also failed to demonstrate non-inferiority. To date, only one of 5 trials of shorter vs longer durations of adjuvant trastuzumab – the PERSEPHONE study of 6 vs 12 months – has demonstrated non-inferiority for a shorter regimen. All the others showed a measurable 2-3% reduction in recurrence risk with the longer duration of trastuzumab therapy.

The conclusion is that, for Her-2 positive breast cancer, 12 months of trastuzumab is still better than a shorter duration of giving the said drug.

But based on the data in Short-HER2 and four other trials of treatment duration, we believe that 12 months of trastuzumab, including 3 months of concurrent administration with taxane-based chemotherapy, remains the standard of care and the optimal duration of therapy. Lesser durations of trastuzumab maintenance treatment appear associated with a greater risk of disease recurrence.

The article's final statement is well-worded.

One year is a long time, especially when getting treatment for breast cancer. But for most women with HER2 positive tumors, that looks like time well spent.

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